MCT Oil 101: A Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides
What Is Medium Chain Fatty Acids?
Medium chain fatty acids are long chains of triglyceride molecules with one or two carbon atoms (C6 to C12). They are found naturally in many foods such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil, walnuts, avocados and others. However, they are most commonly used in food products because they have a high melting point and low boiling points. These properties make them useful for frying, baking and cooking.
How Does MCT Oil Work?
The main benefit of medium chain fatty acids is their ability to increase energy levels. This means that when eaten together with carbohydrates and protein, they provide an immediate boost of energy to your body. Studies show that these fats may also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
However, there are some drawbacks to using them. One drawback is that they tend to raise blood sugar levels and cause insulin resistance. Another downside is that they do not contain all the essential amino acids needed for proper function of your cells. Some studies suggest that consuming medium chain fatty acids may even lead to cancer development in humans.
So, it’s best if you avoid eating them altogether!
Which Kind Of MCT Oil Should I Use?
There are three kinds of MCT oils you can find on the market. They are:
C6 – Caproic Acid
This is the shortest chain, and can be found in small quantities in goat’s milk and goat’s milk products such as chevre, manouri and peaks. It has a pungent smell and flavor, so you won’t find it used in cooking very often.
C8 – Caprylic Acid
This is the most common medium chain triglyceride that you can find in commercial MCT oils and pharmaceutical formulas. It has a faint flavor and odor, so it’s popularly used in cooking and baking.
C10 – Capric Acid
This is the second shortest MCT oil, and has a faint taste and smell. It is more difficult to find because it is more expensive to produce than C8.
C12 – Lauric Acid
This is the longest MCT, and is commonly used in pharmaceutical and medical formulas because of its antiviral properties.
These are the main kinds of MCT oils you can find in most health food stores. Each kind has their own unique use. For example, C8 is commonly used for cooking and frying because of its stability and high smoke point. On the other hand, C10 is preferred for cosmetics because it protects skin from bacteria.
How Do I Take MCT Oil?
The recommended dosage for MCT oil is around 1 teaspoon a day. Of course, this will depend on your age, weight and activity level. You should also take into consideration that MCT oil has a stronger flavor than other oils, so you may want to mix it with another oil such as olive or sunflower. Finally, make sure the MCT oil you are taking doesn’t contain any additives or allergens.
What Are The Possible Side-Effects Of MCT Oil?
Taking a larger dosage of MCT oils than what is recommended may cause discomfort such as stomach aches and diarrhea. If you are allergic to any of the components found in MCT, you may also experience itching and swelling. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have liver or kidney problems, it is best to get advice from your medical practitioner before taking MCT oil.
In general, most people can tolerate MCT oil well if taken in moderation. However, if you are not sure about how your body will react, you should start by taking a small dosage and then gradually increasing it over a period of one to two weeks. If you experience any negative side-effects, then you should contact your physician immediately.
How And Where To Buy MCT Oil
MCT Oil can be found in most health and nutrition stores. It is also sometimes bundled with other supplements such as protein powders and weight loss pills. You can also buy it online. Because MCT oil has so many applications, it is available in a variety of packages including one-time-use packets, glass bottles and plastic squeeze bottles.
Before buying MCT oil, you should make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful additives and doesn’t exceed your dietary requirements. It is also a good idea to compare prices and read reviews online before settling on a supplier.
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at MCT oil and its benefits, you should have a better idea of whether it’s right for you or not. MCT oils can be found in a variety of forms, flavors and applications. It can also be taken as a supplement or added to food and beverages. Just remember, MCT is neutral in flavor, so make sure you don’t overdo it with the dosages!
Reputable MCT oils typically cost between $10 and $30 for a bottle that can last for one to two months. However, cheaper options are available if you are willing to purchase in bulk.
Out of all the kinds of MCT oils in the market, we recommend C8 Oil. C8 is the most common MCT found in nature and is easily incorporated into a variety of dishes. It is also easier on the stomach compared to other kinds of MCT oils.
Sources & references used in this article:
Quantitative determination of medium chain triglycerides in infant formula by reverse phase HPLC by MJ Brown, RD PhD – Online]. Retrieved from the Internet, 2016
Implementing a ketogenic diet based on medium-chain triglyceride oil in pediatric patients with cancer by TW Lee – Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 1986 – Wiley Online Library
Medium-chain triglycerides: an update by LC Nebeling, E Lerner – Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 1995 – Elsevier
Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials by AC Bach, VK Babayan – The American journal of clinical …, 1982 – academic.oup.com
High‐Oil‐Load Encapsulation of Medium‐Chain Triglycerides and d‐Limonene Mixture in Modified Starch by Spray Drying by K Mumme, W Stonehouse – Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and …, 2015 – Elsevier