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What is MCT Oil and Its Health Benefits

Different types of oils serve different purposes in our body, and one of them with prominence is the Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil. The body and brain need natural fuels to function effectively, and over time MCT oils have been found to be a wonderful source of fats that are healthy and can help the brain to improve cognitive abilities, and also help the body with its weight management, heart and gut health, and also enhance the body's ability to perform optimally in sports and other physical exercises.

Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) can be referred to as dietary fat, and the most common sources are palm oils and coconut oils. Different things are worthy of note about the oils, for instance, if we compare MCTs with LCTs (Long Chain Triglycerides), you will discover that MCTs are rarer. Their chemical composition has some notable differences:

  • The carbon chain of MCTs is between 6 and 12, while LCTs have more than 12.
  • Easy absorption of MCTs, in contrast to LCTs, and thus energy gets released immediately, rather than getting stored in the body as fat.
  • Health Benefits
  • MCT oil comes with different benefits for the brain and body, and they include:
  • Effective Weight Loss

There are various ways that MCT oil helps those who are trying to shed some weight. Research and studies have shown that MCT oil usually increases the release of Leptin and Peptide YY, and these hormones are known for giving you a feeling of fullness. Furthermore, with the use of MCT oil, it has been discovered that there is usually a decline in glucose and triglycerides when MCT oil is used, which in turn can trigger the feeling of fullness.

MCT oil also can reduce body weight and thus reduce obesity. It will also interest you to know that MCT oil can be converted to ketones; hence, if you are using a ketogenic diet plan, then MCT oil can help you maintain ketosis.

Instant Energy Source

The body can absorb MCT really fast, and because they have a shorter carbon chain length than LCTs when they get into the body, they bypass the need for bile to break down the process and go straight to the liver from the guts. When they get into the liver, there is a breakdown of the fats, which are then used to fuel the brain, and also release energy for the body to us. It also works the same way when you are on a ketogenic diet.

Reduction of the Buildup of Lactate in Athletes

One thing that can affect your performance in sports or physical activities is the buildup of Lactate levels, and MCT can reduce the buildup. Furthermore, research and studies have indicated the fact that taking the MCT oil before getting involved in physical exercises, can help you convert the fat to energy, instead of the carbs.

Management of Diseases like Alzheimer's, Epilepsy, and Autism

According to different studies carried out, it is evident that the combination of a ketogenic diet with MCT oil has the ability to manage health conditions like Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and autism.

Alzheimer's Disease
One thing the disease does is interfere with the sugar usage of the brain. Using a ketogenic diet with MCT oils creates another energy source known as ketones, and thus it improves the brain cells and also prevents a brain receptor from causing memory loss.

According to a study, one dose of MCTs was found to have aided the improvement of the cognitive abilities of twenty people with Alzheimer's disease (gene type: APOE ɛ4-negative). With the intake of capric or caprylic acid-infused MCT oils, Alzheimer's disease can be better managed.

Epilepsy

We are well aware of the fact that there has been some increased popularity of the ketogenic diet, especially among people looking to shed their weight; however, the ketogenic diet was originally introduced as a treatment to help manage epilepsy. According to different researches carried out by scientists, it has been proven that fasting has the tendency to increase the production of ketones, which in turn reduces how frequently a person experiences epileptic seizures.

Let us not forget that NXTs can get converted into ketones, and that is beneficial for the management of epilepsy. However, it is imperative to consider the type of MCT that is most effective, because studies have shown that the capric acid infused MCT has an improved system of controlling seizures than some others, even better than a lot of drugs created to control epilepsy. For better advice, you may need to speak with your Doctor first.

Autism

According to a study carried out on children with autism, the addition of MCTs to a gluten-free and ketogenic diet was discovered to improve the behaviors of some children with autism. However, it is essential to note that autism being a spectrum condition does not affect people the same way and that invariably means that the addition of the oil to the diet of a child with autism may and may not show positive signs.

Fights Bacterial and Yeast Growth

It will interest you to know that MCTs have the ability to be both antifungal and antimicrobial. There is a large amount of MCT in coconut oil and helps in the reduction in the growth of yeast (candida Albicans), which causes different types of skin infections.

Further studies about coconut oil indicate that oil can reduce the growth of Clostridium Difficile, which is a bacteria that causes diseases. The ability of coconut oil to reduce bacterial and yeast growth is attributed to the presence of lauric, capric, and caprylic acid in Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil.

Furthermore, MCTs can contain the spread of infectious fungi.

Lowers The Risk of Heart Disease

It is no news that heart diseases are becoming a big problem, and different factors increase the risk of getting affected, and they include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Inflammation
  • Blood pressure

MCT oil is good for fat and weight loss, and this can reduce the risk of heart diseases. According to a study carried out on overweight men, when MCT mixed with flaxseed oil and phytosterols, was given to the men for 29 days, there was a 12.5% reduction in their total cholesterol, as opposed to 4.5% when olive oil was used.

Further studies have indicated that MCT can tackle other factors that can increase the risk of heart disease.

There are several other benefits of MCT oil; however, it is essential to note that studies are still being carried out on it to ascertain its abilities and applications. Hence, it is imperative to do proper research, and also contact your Doctor before getting on a diet with MCT. We are hopeful that soon, the use of MCT oil will be good enough for anyone to adopt.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805166/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874190/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25636220

https://med.virginia.edu/ginutrition/wp-content/uploads/sites/199/2014/06/Parrish-February-17.pdf

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits

https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/what-mct-oil-superfood-ingredient

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