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What Is MCT Oil? The Definitive Guide

What Is MCT Oil? The Definitive Guide

  • If you’re still not sure what MCT oil is, or why people use it, you’ve come to the right place.
  • MCT is short for “medium-chain triglycerides,” a type of fatty acid.
  • MCTs are typically derived from coconut oil, but sometimes come from palm oil.
  • There are four different types of MCTs: C6, C8, C10, and C12. C8 is the good stuff — studies show that it’s the most ketogenic oil.
  • Most MCT oils on the market are a blend of all four types, while coconut oil is mostly C12.
  • Bulletproof’s Brain Octane oil is pure C8, and raises ketones four times more effectively than plain coconut oil.
  • MCT oil is loaded with benefits, including accelerates weight loss and increases brain power.
  • Sometimes MCT oil can cause diarrhea, but that’s usually due to chemical-laden brands.
  • Learn the best MCT oil dosage and how to use it.

Maybe you add MCT oil to your coffee because, well, everyone’s doing it. Or maybe you like how mentally switched on you feel after using it. But what is MCT oil exactly? Is it really any better than plain old coconut oil? Are there any side effects, and how the heck do you use it? So many questions! If you’re still not sure what MCT oil is, or why people use it, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn all about this powerful fat, and how you can start using it today for more energy and increased brain power.

What is MCT oil?

MCT is short for “medium-chain triglycerides,” a type of fatty acid.

Different fats behave differently in the body, depending on their chemical structure. Fat molecules look a bit like a mouse — they tend to have large bodies and tails made up of carbon atoms. The length of the tail determines how your body processes the fat.

MCTs have tails that are medium in length, between 6 and 12 carbons long. Generally, the shorter the tail, the less inflammatory the fat.

MCTs are typically derived from coconut oil, but sometimes come from palm oil.

Best MCT oil and what to look for

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.[1] 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.

Learn more about the different types of MCT oil here

Benefits of MCT oil

MCT oil has exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It’s loaded with benefits, including:

  • Accelerates weight loss
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Increases brain power
  • Heals the gut
  • Digests easily
  • Powers your workout 

MCT oil is colorless, odorless, and stays liquid at room temperature, making it the perfect fat to add to food, smoothies, and coffee for extra energy and more brain power.

Learn more here about MCT oil’s many benefits.

MCT oil side effects

People sometimes complain about “disaster pants” (aka diarrhea) and throat irritations after using commercially available MCT oils. It’s true that it takes a little time for your digestive system to get used to MCT oils, since they can loosen your bowels.

But the problem is mainly a purity issue.

Most MCT’s on the market use chemicals like hexane and different enzymes and combustion chemicals, such as sodium methoxide. The oils used to make MCTs – palm and coconut – are often solvent extracted too. The goal is to extract as much oil from the coconut as possible.

But these chemicals are bad news for your gut.

Brain Octane oil is produced with zero solvents. It’s cleaned with activated charcoal, a natural detoxifier, and refined using only heat, water, and pressure. The result? A super clean product made up of pure triglycerides, and none of the funny stuff.

Related: MCT Oil vs. MCT Powder: How to Pick the Best Fat-Burning Supplement

How to use MCT oil and dosage

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. Blend it into Bulletproof Coffee, add it to salad dressings, or drizzle it over sushi. Learn more about the best MCT oil uses here. Or check out these MCT oil recipes that go way beyond coffee.

Give your gut time to adjust to MCT oil, even purer varieties. Start with 1 tsp and work your way up to 1 tablespoon.

Related: 10 Ways to Use Brain Octane Oil (and Only One Is Coffee)

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 when you’re on keto? 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.[2]

Learn more about how to use MCT oil on keto here.

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