It seems everywhere you turn, someone is raving about the health benefits of coconut oil, but what is MCT oil and why should you care? While coconut oil is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame, health buffs in the know realize that coconut oil, as remarkable as it is, tells only half the story. Coconut oil contains a mix of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), and not all are the most effective.
The coconut oil industry loves to market the idea that coconut oil is a great source of MCTs because it’s “62% MCT oil” – but is that really true? It turns out, if you are eating coconut oil for the intended health benefits, you might not be able to hit your daily doses (at least, not from quantities of coconut oil anyone would want to digest daily).
Cheap and abundant coconut oil has its place, but if you want a quality fatty acid oil to supplement your Keto diet, you should really be consuming a dedicated MCT oil, which contains higher amounts of “good” MCT’s and fewer fillers or “bad” MCTs. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about how coconut oil and MCT oil are interchangeably marketed but offer different results.
What Kinds of MCT Oil Are There?
What is MCT Oil? There are 4 fatty acids found in coconut oil; C6, C8, C10, and C12. These medium-chain triglycerides are one of the fastest and cleanest source of fuel for our bodies. Many people add an MCT oil supplement to their Keto diet to provide an efficient energy source that is carb free and that aids in fat loss. MCT oil is flavorless, odorless, and convert directly into fuel in the form of Ketones.
Only the following fatty acid oils behave as true MCT oils in the body:
- Caproic Acid (C6): While Caproic Acid (C6) converts to Ketones quickly, there isn’t usually enough of it in coconut oil to matter, but it does often lead to gastric upset (even in small quantities). If your MCT oil gives your digestive troubles, it might have too much Caproic Acid (C6) in it. Quality brands will remove this fatty acid.
- Caprylic Acid (C8): C8 has potent anti-microbial properties, and is the fastest to be metabolized by the brain. It also restores a healthy gut. Your body does not process Caprylic Acid (C8), which is sometimes called Brain Octane Oil, so it only takes 3 steps to go from ingestion to consumption making this a highly efficient fatty oil indeed.
- Capric Acid (C10): This is the second shortest form of MCT, and is slower to turn into energy, but is also cheaper to manufacture. XCT Oil is triple-distilled in a non-oxygen atmosphere with no solvents ever used, and it contains C10 and C8 because these are the only two MCT oils that turn into ATP quickly without the liver.
- Lauric Acid (C12): This requires a stop in the liver, and is, therefore, slower to turn into energy than C8. Therefore, it is more accurately described as an LCT, not an MCT like some marketers might claim. You will often see C10 marketed as having antimicrobial benefits, which it does, but at a lesser rate than the previously mentioned oils.
MCT Oil Vs Coconut Oil
It’s true that Coconut oil contains MCT’s, but only in small quantities. C8 comprises roughly 6% of coconut oil, and C10 is usually around 9%. You would need to take twelve tablespoons of coconut oil to get the same amount of MCT’s as one tablespoon of pure MCT oil. Most people on the Keto diet work up to three tablespoons of pure MCT oil per day (that would be 40+ tablespoons of coconut oil - yikes!).
As coconut oil is a natural stool softener, you will never want to take more than three tablespoons a day without first building resistance. It simply isn’t possible to consume as much coconut oil as you would need. This is why MCT oil is so popular. It’s an easy way to supplement your Keto diet with pure MCT’s (a raw form of fuel that converts into Ketones).
People enjoy supplementing with MCT oil to:
- Improve brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disease
- Burn fat and improve the efficiency of converting energy into Ketones
- Reduce fat storage in the body
- Supplement quality fats in the Ketogenic diet
- Alleviate mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Bipolar disorder, dementia & depression
MCT is without a doubt the preferred fuel our brains crave and can support over 300 functions within the body in as little as one teaspoon a day. How do you get yours?