MCT Oil Health Benefits
MCT oil is medium-chain triglycerides, also known as medium-chain fatty acids, widely known as beneficial body nutrients.
They are highly endorsed in the keto diet as MCT oils are considered “good” forms of fat. These oils boost metabolism, thus improving the strength of the immune system.
In this article, we will try to understand better what MCT oil is, and what its properties and health benefits are.
What is MCT oil?
MCT is an acronym that stands for medium-chain triglycerides (from medium-chain fatty acids). MCT oil is, therefore, an oil consisting of one or more medium-chain triglycerides.
At room temperature, it is in liquid form and does not tend to solidify like coconut oil. It is also tasteless.
What are Medium Chain Triglycerides?
All fats are composed of carbon and hydrogen but vary in length. Short-chain fatty acids consist of 5 or less carbon atoms, medium-chain fatty acids have 6 -12 atoms, while long-chain ones have more than 12.
Medium-chain triglycerides are considered to be easily digestible and beneficial fats.
Instead of being metabolized via digestion like most other foods, these fats are processed quickly in the liver.
MCTs, therefore, represent a fast and lasting energy source for the body, which assimilates them very quickly.
We can classify the following fatty acids as “medium-chain” or MCFA (Medium Chain Fatty Acids):
- Caproic acid also called hexanoic acid (C6: six carbon atoms)
- Caprylic acid also called octanoic acid (C8: eight carbon atoms)
- Capric acid, also called decanoic acid (C10: ten carbon atoms)
- Lauric acid also called dodecanoic acid (C12: twelve carbon atoms)
The MCT oil can be composed of a mixture of one or more of these MCFA fatty acids.
Typically this oil is extracted from coconut oil or palm oil, both of which are natural sources rich in saturated medium-chain fatty acids.
MCFAs are also present in reasonable quantities in human breast milk, goat’s milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products.
Medium-chain triglycerides, whether consumed in the form of coconut oil or palm oil or taken with MCT oil, have several benefits.
What are the “MCT Oil Health Benefits”?
The structure of medium-chain fatty acids makes these fats beneficial in various ways:
MCTs are easy to digest
Medium-chain triglycerides do not need bile salts to be digested and pass directly from the digestive system into the bloodstream without being modified by digestion, as is the case for long-chain fats. This makes it easier to metabolize and use than other fats.
Because they are so easy to absorb and use, MCTs are often the right choice for those with problems related to digestion, fat absorption, or the absence of the gallbladder.
Increases energy levels
With an enhanced metabolism, you also have improved energy levels, not to mention the direct flow of ketones from the rapid conversion of MCTs into energy. Instead of more than 20 steps that sugar takes to become energy, C-8 medium-chain fatty acids can be converted into usable energy in just three steps, giving your body fast and invigorating support.
MCTs help regulate hormone levels
Since fats are necessary for the adequate production of hormones and for their balance in the body, MCTs offer many advantages in this sense because they help to rebalance hormone levels.
MCTs promote intestinal health Medium-chain fatty acids have antiviral and antibacterial properties and are useful to help maintain the balance of intestinal bacterial flora by fighting pathogenic microorganisms.
MCTs help improve the immune system
Thanks to their antiviral and antibacterial properties, MCTs are useful for strengthening the immune system.
Since the body can more easily use MCTs, they are particularly important for those who have problems absorbing fats and suffer from functional alterations of the immune system.
MCTs Check Obesity
When the MCT oil fatty acids are converted into energy, the metabolism is inevitably accelerated, which can aid in the burning of fats and the overall efficiency of burning calories in the body.
Research has shown that MCTs prevent the deposition of fat in the body but rather, constitute pure forms of readily available energy.
Improves cognitive function
When the small medium-chain fatty acids are transformed directly into ketones, one of the areas in which it is thought to have the most effect is in the brain. By providing energy and protecting the neural pathways, these ketones can mitigate the symptoms of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases, giving power for concentration and memory preservation.
MCTs are known to help control blood sugar.
Since MCT oil can help control obesity (which is a risk factor for diabetes), increase metabolism, and optimize digestion, this oil is not only useful for people with diabetes but also those at high risk of the disease.
These are some of the benefits of MCTs and is the reason why people who are on the ketogenic diet are more poised to reap these benefits. As the keto diet is deficient in carbs and high in fat, taking MCT oil is beneficial in helping you remain in a fat-burning state referred to as ketosis.
How to use MCT oil?
However, in consuming MCTs, make sure that you eat other fats in your diet as they (MCTs) don’t contain essential fatty acids.
Also, take MCTs in moderate quantities as they have a lot of calories as well as saturated fat which could lead to weight gain or raised cholesterol levels respectively.
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