MCT has become synonymous with fat drinks and the Keto Diet....but what is it and does it really help with fat-burning?!
MCT or medium chain triglycerides are not the same as exogenous ketones (often sold as a way to stay in ketosis). When you consume MCT, it goes straight to the liver where it is broken down to produce a direct, natural source of ketones. Ketones are a form of fuel that the body uses as an alternative to glucose. MCT oil is often a source of coconut-derived C8 and C10 fats.
What does the C8 and C10 mean?
C8 and C10 refers to the length of the carbon chain that make up the triglyceride (fat). Different triglycerides have different chain lengths and properties. By providing different ratios of C8 and C10 you will get a product with varying properties.
Why consume MCT?
medium chain triglycerides are easier to digest and produce ketones at a faster rate than long chain triglycerides. Ketones are able to cross the blood brain barrier, providing an instant source of fuel to your brain. This instant source of ketones can improve mental clarity and energy. The calories within MCT are more readily used for fuel by the body and therefore less likely to be stored as body fat. Some animal studies have also shown that MCT oil increases fat-burning and may therefore aid in weight loss.
What to look for when choosing an MCT oil
Many companies use a blend of C8 and C10 to produce an MCT oil. Powered products are also available, however these powders can be mixed with carriers such as coconut milk powder which often contains maltodextrin and does not have to be declared on labelling.
My preference is an Organic MCT oil, housed in a dark glass bottle to protect the oil.
MCT do not require enzymes to break them down into ketones and so ketones are rapidly produced which can sometimes result in an upset tummy (MCT has a natural laxative effect!). This impact can be minimised by slowly introducing MCT, a teaspoon is a good starting point! Choose an MCT with a combination of both C8 and C10, both of which have beneficial properties and the presence of C10 will help reduce the impact of the 'upset tummy.'
Ensure that the MCT you are buying has been extracted without harsh chemicals and solvents such as hexane by choosing a pure Organic, high quality MCT oil.
Other potential benefits of MCT
Whilst more research is needed into the benefits of MCT oil, there are studies that show that MCT oil may have beneficial effect on bile production, which has an impact on many aspects of health, including cholesterol and hormone balance.
Benefits have also been noted in blood sugar level improvements and an increase in insulin sensitivity.
C8 and C10 both have antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. One study found that C10 was one of the most effective MCT in killing Candida albicans, a yeast found living in the human body. Candida overgrowth is the most common fungal infection in humans.
How to take MCT oil
I incorporate MCT into my daily fat drink (blending MCT with coffee), however a little drizzle over salad or blending into a matcha tea or turmeric drink are other inventive ways of incorporating MCT into your daily routine!
Coconut experts, Cocofina have recently launched a high quality, Organic MCT oil to the market. With due diligence and careful research, this product is of the highest quality and is also exceptional value.
Sow & Arrow have now started stocking this product with at an introductory price of £7.95 (whilst stocks last).