I’ve written about MCT oil quite a bit on my blog, from using it in your butter coffee recipes to integrating it into your diet in other ways. One aspect of MCT oil that I haven’t touched on very much is why you would want to take MCT oil, and what the health benefits of this oil exactly are.
The first time I heard about MCT oil was through Dave Asprey, who is now selling his MCT oil under the name of “Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil,” for whatever reason. At any rate, Dave states that the benefits of MCT oil compared to other fats or oils is that the body converts MCT oil into energy faster than other oils. This can result in increased energy, stamina, and performance during physical activities.
If you’re the type of person who takes a lot of vitamins and supplements each day, adding a spoonful or two of MCT oil to your daily regimen could be beneficial. The addition of MCT oil can help your body with the absorption of these nutrients. In fact, MCT oil is given to people who have trouble absorbing nutrients, such as people who suffer from cystic fibrosis or diabetes.
MCT oil can also help with the brain. Much like our bodies need fuel for performance, so does our brain. MCT oil has such a positive impact on brain function and health, studies have shown that it can help reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. These ketones are created by the liver when MCT oil is ingested.
There are also a number of weight loss benefits to MCT oil–far too many to cover here in this blog post, actually. Check back in a couple of days for a separate post outlining some of the ways that MCT oil can help you lose weight.
Last week I wrote about some other uses for MCT oil if you don’t drink butter coffee for whatever reason. As it turns out, you can add it to just about anything. But before you start adding it to your smoothies and oatmeal, wouldn’t you like to find out just what exactly MCT oil is?
First, let’s look at the acronym: MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. MCT is composed of a number healthy fatty acids that are medium in length. The fats that we get from most foods–and the fat that our body stores–are long in length. Small and medium length triglycerides are a good source of energy because they are easily metabolized by the body which is one reason why so many athletes are starting to discover and try MCT oil.
One of the richest sources of MCT is the coconut. MCT oil is made by extracting the caprylic and capric fatty acids from coconuts, resulting in a relatively unflavored, clear/yellowish liquid that can be stored at room temperature. Pure coconut oil or coconut cream is solid at room temperature and obviously has the flavor of coconut.
If MCT oil comes from coconuts, why not just use coconut oil or coconut cream in your smoothies or butter coffee instead of more expensive MCT oil?
MCT oil takes the “good stuff” (the medium chain triglycerides) from coconut oil and removes all the other stuff. Medium chain triglycerides comprise about 60% of coconut oil, so while it could be cheaper in the long run to use virgin coconut oil instead of MCT oil, you might use more of it. And because MCT oil is a liquid and essentially flavorless, it’s much more versatile, allowing you to integrate it into your existing diet easily without having to learn any new recipes.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record starting blog posts this way, but it was on The Joe Rogan Experience that I first heard about the health benefits of coconut oil from Joe Rogan. A while later, Onnit introduced its own organic coconut oil so I decided to research things a little further. I knew that it could be used as a substitute for MCT oil in Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee, but beyond that I wasn’t sure how I could integrate coconut oil into my diet.
Coconut oil is actually a very versatile product, and the name is somewhat misleading. When I think of a food oil, I think of a liquid like peanut, vegetable, sunflower, or corn oil. Coconut oil is a little different. At room temperature, it’s actually a solid with the appearance of lard or shortening. When heated, it turns into a liquid. This makes it easy to integrate it into your diet in many ways.
So why would you want to add coconut oil to your diet? It’s packed with MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides. The body burns these special fats very efficiently, making it a much better source of energy compared to sugar, startch, or even protein. A 2009 study found that women who added about two tablespoons of coconut oil to their diet for three months didn’t gain any weight during that time and had reduced abdominal fat.
Coconut oil can also help reduce cholesterol, build up our resistance to viruses and bacteria by boosting our immune system, and it stimulates the body’s metabolism, which can help with weight loss when combined with a balanced diet and exercise. Fortunately there are so many ways to add coconut oil to our diets that adding two-to-four tablespoons per day is easy!