MCT Oil Benefits: 6 Science-Backed Reasons to Use MCT
By: Alison Moodie
October 1, 2018
- MCT oil is a purified form of saturated fatty acids. It typically comes from a mix of coconut oil and palm oil.
- The benefits of MCT oil are: rapid weight loss, suppresses hunger; digests easily; more brain power; strengthens the gut; and boosts your workouts.
- There are four different types of MCTs: C6, C8, C10, and C12.
- C8 is the good stuff — studies show it’s the most ketogenic oil, meaning it bypasses the digestive tract and goes straight to the liver, where it’s converted into fat-burning ketones.
- Bulletproof’s Brain Octane Oil is pure C8, and raises ketones four times more effectively than plain coconut oil.
- MCTs are largely missing from the typical Western diet, so adding MCT oil to your daily routine can be a powerful way to get the benefits of these multi-tasking fats.
- Drizzle MCT oil over your food or drink it in your Bulletproof Coffee.
It seems nearly every coffee shop you walk into nowadays has some variation of a Bulletproof Coffee on the menu. That’s coffee mixed with butter and MCT oil. Even if you know a bit about MCT oil, you probably still have lingering questions. What is MCT oil exactly? Are all MCT oils created equal? Can it really help you to lose weight? Read on to discover why MCT oil is such a powerful addition to your daily routine, and how it can power your brain and help you burn fat — and fast.
If you’d prefer to listen to this article, click the play button below:
What is MCT oil?
“MCT” is short for medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are simply the molecules that make up most fats, and medium-chain refers to the length of the fat molecule’s tail. You can learn more here about the different fat structures.
MCT oil is a purified form of saturated fatty acids. It typically comes from a mix of coconut oil and palm oil.
How does MCT oil work?
There are four different types of MCTs:
- Caproic acid (C6)
- Caprylic acid (C8)
- Capric acid (C10)
- Lauric acid (C12)
Some of these Cs turn into fat-burning ketones more effectively and more quickly than others. Here’s a quick ketone primer: When you cut way down on carbs, your body goes from burning glucose to burning ketones, an alternative source of fuel. Burning ketones carries a host of benefits, including rapid weight loss, but more on that in a bit.
C8 is the good stuff — studies show that it’s the most ketogenic oil, meaning it bypasses the digestive tract and goes straight to the liver, where it’s converted into fat-burning ketones. Most MCT oils on the market are a blend of all four types, while coconut oil is mostly C12.
C12 behaves more like a typical fatty acid — it first goes through your stomach, where the small intestine breaks it down. Your blood then absorbs it before your body turns it into energy. C12 is the main ingredient in most MCT oils — not ideal if your goal is to burn fat, and quickly.
Bulletproof’s Brain Octane Oil is pure C8, and raises ketones four times more effectively than plain coconut oil. Usually you have to fast, cut way down on carbs, or exercise really hard to get your body to produce ketones. With Brain Octane, you raise your ketone levels in a matter of minutes, with very little effort. What does this mean? A lot, for both weight loss and your ability to focus.
MCT oil benefits
There’s a reason MCT oil is everywhere right now. It’s a great ally if you’re looking to lose weight or you need loads of brain power.
“MCT oil increases energy, endurance, metabolism, satiety, and brain function, especially when compared to other forms of fat, including olive oil,” says Kelly Schmidt, RD, author of “What’s the Deal With Paleo and Primal Eating?”
MCTs are largely missing from the typical Western diet, so adding MCT oil to your daily routine can be a powerful way to get the benefits of these multi-tasking fats. Here’s why MCT oil is so good for you:
Rapid weight loss
MCT oil can help you lose weight quickly. Studies show that MCTs, particularly C8 and C10, cause your body to burn fat and calories, no matter what kind of diet you follow. MCT oil also creates ketones, and ketones increase your metabolic rate (aka your metabolism) and burn the fat you already have.
“People on a the Standard American Diet may still lose weight from MCT oil from the positive effects it has on hunger hormones, the boost in metabolism, and reduction in inflammation,” says Schmidt, although the weight loss won’t be as dramatic as someone following a low-carb diet, which fuels ketosis.
MCTs are also satiating and quickly digested by the body, which spurs weight loss. Keep reading to find out how.
MCT oil fills you up. The healthy fat is satiating, so you can go for longer periods without eating, and get to lunchtime without an energy crash. There’s science behind it: MCTs raise ketones, and ketones suppress ghrelin (aka your hunger hormone), and increase cholecystokinin (CCK), which makes you feel full.
Easy to digest
The shorter chain lengths of the fat molecules means your body breaks down MCTs quicker than the more common long-chain triglycerides found in other fatty foods.
“MCT oil is digested differently as it gets absorbed directly from the gut into the liver, bypassing the physiology of being stored as fat,” says Schmidt.
More brain power
High-quality MCT oil turns into ketones within minutes, providing your brain with an almost immediate jolt of energy. “When someone’s carbs are low enough, MCT oil can be converted into ketones, which unlike glucose, can cross the blood-brain barrier and be used as a fuel source for brain cells,” says Schmidt. As a testament to their brain power, MCTs may also help treat neurodegenerative diseases. Research has shown that MCTs provide energy to dying brain cells, keeping neurons alive in the face of Alzheimer’s and potentially even reversing symptoms.
Strengthens the gut
MCT oil encourages good bacteria to grow and heals the gut lining. When you have holes in your intestine, toxins, bacteria, and food particles can escape and enter your bloodstream, putting you at risk for serious gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and food allergies. MCTs are also strong antifungals, antivirals, and antibacterials.
Boosts your workout
Use MCT oil to fuel your workout. Studies show that MCT oil can help you exercise for longer and improve your stamina. In one study, mice who ate a diet rich in MCTs showed more endurance during a swim test compared to mice that were fed long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). In another study, recreational athletes who ate foods containing MCTs for two weeks could do longer sessions of high-intensity exercises.
How to use MCT oil
The magic of MCT oil is you can use it in or on just about anything. An MCT oil like Brain Octane is odorless and tasteless, so no need to gag it down to get its benefits. It’s also liquid at room temperature, making it easy to add to your favorite foods and drinks.
How to use MCT oil in your coffee
“Coffee and smoothies are perfect vehicles for consuming MCT oil and reaping the benefits of using this form of fat,” says Schmidt.
If you haven’t used MCT oil before, start small, with maybe a teaspoon, before moving to 1-2 tablespoons. You’ll know you need to cut back if you start to get diarrhea — a potential side effect of using too much MCT oil before your body is ready.
“Listen to your body and decide what works best for you, but with the analysis, be consistent for a few days or a week, before deciding how much works best for you,” says Schmidt.
How to use MCT oil on keto
MCT oil is your best friend when you’re on the keto diet. You’ve learnt that high-quality MCT oils like Brain Octane raise ketones, and a high level of ketones is key when you’re following the keto diet. It’s all about those ketones when your goal is to burn fat and keep it off.
So how do you use it? Start off your day with MCT oil in your coffee. Then keep using it throughout the day — drizzled over your salad or sushi, for instance. This actually allows you to eat more carbs than usual, while still keeping you in ketosis. The magic of MCT oil, particularly Brain Octane, is that it creates a background level of ketones — up to 0.7 millimoles per liter. A blood ketone level of 0.5 is enough to suppress appetite.
Try it today to power your body and mind.
Sign-up for the Bulletproof mailing list and receive the latest news and updates!
Join over 1 million fans
Sign-up for the Bulletproof mailing list and receive the latest news and updates!