MCT Oil Benefits: 14 Ways to Fit In More MCT Oil

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Are you consuming enough healthy fats and oils every day?

Until you’re used it it, it can be a challenge to get enough of these healthy fats into your diet.

The Bulletproof Diet recommends you receive 50-70% of your energy from the right healthy fats. If you’ve been using grass fed butter, eating egg yolks, and eating coconut oil, you’re on your way. If you drink Bulletproof® Coffee, you’re also getting Brain Octane or Upgraded™ XCT oil, sources of medium-chain triglycerides up to 18 times stronger than plain coconut oil.

This long post explains some of the benefits of using the most concentrated extracts of coconut oil, as well as my favorite 15 lesser-known uses of either Brain Octane and Upgraded™ XCT oil in everyday living, from delicious salad dressings to DIY bug repellant and sunscreen.

Why MCTs Matter

MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which are largely missing from typical diets, are saturated fats easier to digest than the more common LCTs (long-chain triglycerides). Your body sends them straight to your liver, where they raise your metabolism and are burned as fuel instead of being stored as fat.

These fatty acids show potential in maintaining healthy weight and diminishing fat storage, in 26 studies referenced here. Medium chain fats help you feel full more than long-chain fatty acids you’d find in vegetable oils. You will find trace amounts of MCTs in butter, but the richest source is coconut, and to a lesser extent, palm kernel oil.

Coconut oil is about 65 percent MCTs, a fact touted by coconut oil merchants. What they don’t tell you is that there are 4 kinds of MCT, and 80% of the fat in coconut oil is just one type of MCT. The four kinds of MCT differ by the number of carbons on the molecules, ranging between 6 to 12 carbons long. There are caprioc (C6:0), caprylic (C8:0), capric (C10:0), and lauric (C12:0) acids. All of them are good for you, but the shorter the chain, the faster the transformation to ketones for energy. If you are counting on coconut oil for your MCTs, you’re going to get a lot of lauric acid, and only about 5% of the really good shorter chain MCTs.

That’s why I created Brain Octane, in order to be able to get more valuable shorter MCTs into my diet without overloading on the excessive longer MCTs in coconut oil. Brain Octane, which comes directly from coconuts (or palm kernels when necessary), is 18 times stronger than regular coconut oil and fuels you best for maximum brain function. Upgraded XCT oil is an ultra-pure mix of the two shorter chain fats in coconut oil, making it 6 times stronger than normal coconut oil.

Why Brain Octane Provides the Greatest Upgrade

Brain Octane™ is the type of MCT that most quickly creates ketones in the body, which means you can achieve the brain-boosting effects of ketosis while consuming a higher carbohydrate level than a ketogenic diet. The theory behind this is that caprylic acid (even without otherwise changing your diet) increases your ketone level so your brain can consume the ketones it favors over even glucose. To produce a useful level of ketones with diet alone, you’d need 90% of your calories to come from fat.  And if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can eat substantially more carbs and still boost your ketones with the aid of Brain Octane. Coconut oil or butter won’t do this. Brain Octane does it best, and Upgraded XCT is the next strongest.

So how can you get more of the strongest MCTs throughout your day, besides in your coffee?

1. Use Brain Octane™ to make Bulletproof Diet Salad Dressings

In order to best absorb nutrients (beta-carotene, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and lutein) from your food, consume them with fat.  One study showed that due to its MCT content, coconut oil permitted greater absorption of nutrients than when vegetables were eaten with unsaturated fats. (4)

Click here to see the Brain Octane Salad Dressings!

2. Bulletproof® Diet Recipe for Mayonnaise

  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup extra light olive oil
  • ¼ cup Brain Octane
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon or lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • Pinch of salt

Add together all ingredients, let egg sink to bottom of the container, and blend all of the ingredients with an immersion blender until mayo is at desired consistency (you can always add fresh herbs to flavor your mayo too). Add a dash of avocado, another egg yolk, or soy lecithin if it won’t emulsify.

3. Bulletproof® Diet Cooking

Substitute up to about 1/3 of the oil in a recipe with Brain Octane, as long as the dish is being cooked or baked at under 320 F. Don’t fry in Brain Octane; you want some liquid in the pan too to keep the temperature lower.

4. On Your Sushi

This is one of my favorites. You can drizzle Brain Octane or Upgraded XCT oil on your sushi to help your body produce ketones even when you’re ingesting carbohydrates from rice.  It also makes sushi filling and it brings forth the flavor of the fish. It’s better with the oil than without. (Psychology Today suggests that by using MCT oil for 50% of your calories, you could eat a 1.2:1:1 fat:carb:protein diet and still reap all of the benefits of a ketogenic diet – which has a standard 4:1:1 ratio.)

5. Skin Scrub

Put all ingredients in a jar and mix them together.  You can also muddle in fresh mint or lavender or some lemon zest

Massage into dry skin (focusing particularly on elbows, knees, and feet), then rinse

The skin really loves Brain Octane oil. I rub it into my skin if some spills.

6. Shaving Lotion

Rub Brain Octane directly onto skin before shaving to moisturize and protect skin while softening hair. Microbes don’t like Brain Octane!

7. Sunscreen

  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup brain octane
  • ½ cup zinc oxide (powder)

This natural sunscreen sounds crazy, but people who don’t want to absorb sunscreen chemicals through their skin swear by it.  Depending on how much zinc oxide you add, you can achieve an SPF of 20+. The Brain Octane makes it softer and easier to spread.

8. Sunburn  Relief

If you didn’t use sunscreen, you can still take care of your burn by rubbing it with Brain Octane or coconut oil.  Please note: Do not do this while the burn is still hot, only after your skin has cooled.

9. Insect Repellent

Mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract, and rub on your exposed skin.

10. Makeup Remover

Dab some Brain Octane on a cotton swab to get rid of last night’s leftover eyeliner

11. Conditioner

Massage a teaspoon of Brain Octane into the ends of your hair, or use a tablespoon, cover, and leave on overnight for a deep treatment for dry, frizzy hair

12. Cuticle Oil

Massage Brain Octane into your cuticles before going to bed, and leave on overnight

13. Oil Pulling

Following the ancient Ayurvedic tradition, you can swish 1 tbsp of Brain Octane in your mouth for 15-20 minutes.  Those who participate in this practice claim that it whitens teeth, fights gingivitis, prevents bad breath, and helps to detoxify your body, thereby potentially reduce acne.(5)

14. During Exercise

You can take Brain Octane either alone or mixed into a sports drink during prolonged exercise.  Some studies have shown that MCT oils serve as an effective energy source while potentially sparing glycogen stores, because the MCTs are rapidly metabolized and converted to energy by your body.(6)

All of these fun uses for Brain Octane™ make it easy to fuel your day with rewarding MCTs in a variety of creative – or delicious – ways.


Click to read the complete list of references.

1.  Isaacs C, Litov R, Thormar H, 1995. Antimicrobial activity of lipids added to human milk, infant formula, and bovine milk. J Nutr Biochem. 6(7):362-6.

2.  Marounek M, Skrivanova E, Rada V, 2003. Susceptibility of Escherichia coli to C2-C18 fatty acids. Folia Microbiol. 48:731-5.  Skrivanova V, Marounek M, 2002. Acta Vet. 71:435-9.

3. Hanczakowska E, Szewcyk A, Okon K, 2011. Effects of dietary caprylic and capric acids on piglet performance and mucosal epithetlium structure of the ileum. J Anim & Feed Sci 20:556-65.

4.  Conlon L, King R, Moran N, Erdman J Jr., 2012. Coconut Oil Enhances Tomato Carotenoid Tissue Accumulation Compared to Safflower Oil in the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). J Agric Food Chem; Gunstone F, (2001) Structured and Modified Lipids, CRC Press, 498.

5.  “3 Reasons You Should Try Oil Pulling.” The Huffington Post; Singh A, Purohit B, (2011) Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. J Ayurveda Integr M 2(2):64-8.

6.  Jeukendrup A, Saris W, Schrauwen P, Brouns F, Wagenmakers A (1995) Metabolic availability of medium-chain triglycerides coingested with carbohydrates during prolonged exercise. J Appl Physiol 79(3):756-62; Berning J (1996) The role of medium-chain triglycerides in exercise. Int J Sport Nutr 6(20):121-33.

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By Dave Asprey

  • Ludwig Richter

    I really think that unless you want to alienate readers, you can’t create a whole post that poses as information but that is, in reality, a thinly veiled infomercial for your products. I use your Brain Octane Oil (as well as your MCT Oil), think they’re good products and don’t see anything wrong with dropping discreet references to them now and again and inserting links to them at the bottom of posts like these, but there’s a line you cross when you mention your products in virtually every entry on a list that’s ostensibly supposed to be about the benefits of coconut oil, not Brain Octane Oil. If you’d simply called it “Top 15 Ways to Fit More Brain Octane Oil into Your Diet,” there wouldn’t be the same bait-and-switch issue or impression of sleazy commercial motivations underlying what purports to be an informative post.

  • Michele Melloni

    Very helpful, Dave! I love all the ways I can incorporate more of the Brain Octane into my life. If I already consume three tablespoons with my BP Coffee in the morning, can I safely use more throughout the day in my salads, food, body, e.t.c?

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  • June Lopez

    Do you have your book in spanish ?

  • Sara Smith

    Would either of the oils help dry scalp if left on overnight (with a towel on the pillow)?

    • Jon

      MCT works for me, reduces my dandruff. the trouble is getting it on your scalp with all the hair in the way.

  • Zhang

    From the 7th paragraph:
    “Brain Octane, which comes directly from coconuts (or palm kernels when necessary), is 18 times stronger than regular coconut oil and fuels you best for maximum brain function. Upgraded MCT oil is an ultra-pure mix of the two shorter chain fats in coconut oil, making it 6 times stronger than normal coconut oil.”

    The parts about your products being “stronger” than normal coconut oil are misleading. The term stronger is left without any definition. The word you should be using is concentrated.

    I think there’s the lingering possibility that over time people will take you less and less seriously, unless you make a greater effort to not come off as a deceptive marketing guru.

    • Jason Miller

      Both terms “stronger” and “concentrated” are valid. There is a higher concentration, and the effects are stronger.

      • Jason. I agree with you but I also agree with Zhang. The numbers Dave uses have always been a little confusing 6x, 18x. I love and recommend the products but it’s hard to explain those numbers when someone asks.

        • Andrew Boskamp

          No, it’s actually very simple to explain. If caprylic acid is what we’re after, and coconut oil is only about 6% C8, then Brain Octane (100% C8) is 18x stronger. Regular MCT oil is 33% C8 (the rest is C10), so its about 6x stronger than coconut oil.

        • Future_Vision

          I think what is lacking is measure of volume so we are comparing apples to apples. For example state the comparison as a TBS of Coconut oil vs a TBS of Brian Octane. Then it makes more sense. Without this you could argue that drinking a certain amount of coconut oil gives you the same amount of C8 as Brain Octane if you were only to take a TBS of it.

  • Zhang

    Hi again,

    Here’s some arithmetic to expand on my discontent with your terminology (I hope you don’t mind the feedback). Let’s go ahead with the idea that MCT oil is 6 times stronger than coconut oil, and that Brain Octane is 18 times stronger than coconut oil. This means that BO is 3 times stronger than MCT.

    – BO is 100% C8:0
    – Let’s write C8:0 as C8

    1 BO = 1 C8

    – Let’s assume that MCT is 50% C8:0 and 50% C10:0
    – Let’s write C10:0 as C10

    1 MCT = 1/2 C8 + 1/2 C10

    Now, time for some fun.

    * “BO is 3 times stronger than MCT”

    BO = MCT * 3

    * Express this in terms of C8 and C10 (like we defined above)

    1 C8 = (1/2 C8 + 1/2 C10) * 3

    * Expand the right-hand side of the equation

    1 C8 = 3/2 C8 + 3/2 C10

    * Subtract 3/2 C8 from both sides (so we’re left with only a C10 term on the right)

    -1/2 C8 = 3/2 C10

    * Divide by 3/2 (to remove the coefficient of 3/2 on the the right)

    -2/6 C8 = C10

    * Take C10 to the left

    C10 = -1/3 C8

    This would imply that the C10:0 fats have negative “strength”.

    • Jason Miller

      The assumption that the mct ratio is 50/50 renders your equation invalid right off the go.

      • Zhang

        Let me know what ratio you feel like should have been used instead and why it matters. What would be even more relevant is criticizing the equation itself.

        “Both terms “stronger” and “concentrated” are valid. There is a higher concentration, and the effects are stronger.”

        – You have a 1 g piece of metal that’s 50% silver and 50% gold
        – You have a second 1 g piece of metal that is 100% gold
        – The *concentration* of gold in the second piece of metal is 2x relative to the first
        – The *value* of the second piece of metal would be less than 2x relative to the first

        Notice the disconnect between *concentration* and *value*. I feel there’s a similar disconnect between concentration and strength in Asprey’s products relative to coconut oil.

        Though, what exactly is “strength” as it is used in Asprey’s marketing material?

        My interpretation is it perhaps being something somewhat abstract to do with potential ketone production. Maybe? But for it to be accurate strength would have to mean concentration, but that is not a definition of strength.

        • Jason Miller

          Your analogy is only correct in how the MCT is $30 and brain octane is $46, the “cost”. I think your efforts to find fault are a little too eager, you are the one that extrapolated that octane is 3x MCT, his literature says it takes 18 units of coconut oil to get 1unit of octane, and 6 units of coconut oil to get 1 unit of MCT. Now, considering for loss during process and the range variability of fatty acid content in coconut oil, ranges become more appropriate. It takes in reality between 15 and 21 units to make octane, and between 3 and 9 units to make MCT depending on the variable nature of produce. Once you have these extractions you can make direct comparisons as the variables are much tighter (but still exist). So instead of a long, drawn out label or explanation of the variability of nature, there was a simplification for communication of 18x and 6x.

          As for strength, c8 has an effect on the body, so does c10, remove the c10 from a x:x ratio and the effect of the c8 will be greater or stronger than the prior if the volume ingested is maintained.

        • name

          For Brain Octane to be 18 times stronger than coconut oil just because it has 18 times as much C8, implies that the C10, C12 fats in coconut oil are kind of worthless.

          “you are the one that extrapolated that octane is 3x MCT”

          Disagree that it is an extrapolation to say that 18 is 3 times 6.

          “his literature says it takes 18 units of coconut oil to get 1unit of octane, and 6 units of coconut oil to get 1 unit of MCT.”

          Yes, that’s concentration. But his literature uses “strength”. I find that’s improper usage of the word.


        • Joseph

          Mr. Miller, I disagree with you about his efforts to find fault being too eager. I was introduced to the BP website last week by a friend, and have been drinking in the information…as well as the coffee. As a business owner with a pretty strong inclination towards marketing, I must say that there are entire sections of these articles that get blanked out in my mind because it switches from informational to branding and selling.

          Mr. Asprey is presenting himself as an expert, and I’ve found the coffee to be a very interesting recipe, as well as the BP Diet infographic…but the constant pushing of the BP brand and terminology used to make it sound “better” is somewhat frustrating.

          I would also be extremely careful in my replies to folks who disagree with you. The slightest hint of negativity from you in such a reply is going to be magnified by a bajillion as they read it. That’s a BIG no-no, that anyone who manages social media should understand.

        • Jason Miller

          Care to enlighten me on how this possibly relates to some princess that wants to squabble over concentration rates of coconut oil to MCT using bad math? Complaining about simple terms like strength and concentration instead of focusing on the attributes of the isolated extractions and the effects on the body demonstrates lack of character to which I need no warnings, thank you.

    • Rich Breton

      wow you seem to care so much – hes never going to read this…your never going to get a response.

  • ACampbell

    My very observant son recognized that item #12 is missing from your list.

  • Namely

    You write:
    “Brain Octane™ is the type of MCT that most quickly creates ketones in the body, which means you can achieve the brain-boosting effects of ketosis while consuming a higher carbohydrate level than a ketogenic diet.”

    You sure? I have a hunch that caproic acid (C6:0) would be even more ketogenic.

  • Great post Dave. I use brain octane most days. MCT if I’m working out. The sushi option is sensational on workout days.. As a liver transplant recipient of 10 years all things bulletproof has changed my life immeasurably. BPC, Glutathione Force,, Aging Formula and Ciltep have me performing physically and mentally at the top of my game at 63 years of age. Thanks.

  • Would love to see you in Australia.

  • Jamie

    You can also drink Brain Octane to help you come up with a #12 for this list!

    • Ashley9632

      You have a pay^pal service >>??in Case if you have you can earn an extra 1100 bucks week after week to your pay by just Freelancing Online from home for two h per day.Check THIS–> Start Here

  • kj

    The title of this article is completely misleading. It isn’t about coconut oil, it’s about “Brain Octane.” It seems the other comments noting this plain fact have gone missing, so I assume this one will one too 🙁

    • Julie

      haha I just posted on this, too!!! And wait, the moderators are deleting comments??

  • Julie

    The title of this article is very misleading! I thought it was going to be about coconut oil but it was mostly about promoting the Bulletproof Products. I use Upgraded MCT Oil and Brain Octane and love it, but sometimes it’s nice to see articles that aren’t self-serving. Makes me lose a little faith in the products when they’re constantly being promoted. But thanks for all the tips…I will definitely try them out!

    • Pauline

      Thanks for your honesty………..

    • Julian Reyes

      How ignorant do you have to be. There are literally thousands of websites explaining the benefits of coconut oil, this one just tells you how to use bulletproof MCT oil other than consuming it orally. Lastly if you haven’t figured out by now what the benefits of coconut oil are, you might want to pick up a book for a change.

  • Since I’ve been “upgraded” I have had more focus, energy and I have been able to feel satisfied with food and in a good mood.

  • Noble Wolf

    Why the **** should I use only C8 MCTs for skin care, hair care, etc.?? Sounds like a huge waste of money.

  • Michelle Adame

    Interesting discussion have ensued when I just came on here to get a mayonaise recipe. lol I love BP people, constantly, digging, poking and prodding. Meanwhile, I’ll sit on the sidelines, drink a cup of coffee, listen (I’m not scientifically inclined to really join in on the debate) and share my experiences….all the whole getting less sleep and kicking more….

  • Nicholas Tasker

    Well, Dave, I added Bulletproof Coffee and delicious as it was, my VLDL skyrocketed by 125% in 30 days. So high that my functional medicine doctor told me to stop immediately.

    I, like 20% of humans, carry the ApoE4 gene. The advice for whom seems to be – not too high on fats.

    What do you say to that?

    Thanks in advance.


  • Kate

    I tried oil pulling with MCT the other day – significantly better results than standard oil. Can only imagine how effective the brain octave would be!

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  • Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Pauline

    Thanks for all the info…………I have finally found some answers.

  • I blended 1 oz of Brain Octane into my “Green Juice” at lunch. I was a little worried about the separation of the oil in a cold juice. The blending process with a milk frother I use was plenty enough to make it work. I couldn’t even taste the oil and I can literally feel the oil in my brain. Its a subtle cooling sensation in the back, just behind my ears.

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