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MCT Oil Supplements

What is MCT Oil?

MCTs—medium chain triglycerides—differ in their chemical structure to some of the more common saturated fatty acids that people have in their diets, which are often animal products like beef and pork. These animal derived types of saturated fatty acids tend to be associated with cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. However, as the old saying goes—oils ain’t oils. And though this reference was made to a car’s engine oil, in a way, the oil we put in our body is a fuel as well—of it can be a fuel. Depending on how much we eat, it might just be stored in the tank, I.e., as body fat. However, it seems that MCT oil derived from coconuts or sustainable palm oil is less likely to do so than other types of saturated fats.


 

Are MCT Oil and Coconut Oil the Same?

MCT oil is often extracted from coconuts, though it can also be taken from palm kernels. Medium chain triglycerides are quickly oxidised in the liver, leading to greater energy expenditure and more satiety (food satisfaction) than other forms of dietary fat. This was published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2002. The authors of this study also believed that replacing dietary long-chain triglycerides with MCT oil will facilitate weight loss.


 

Is MCT Oil Saturated Fat?

There has been some concern by healthcare practitioners over the fact that MCTs are—by nature—saturated fats, and that this may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, scientists are showing that the chain length of the saturated fat is important in determining its metabolism and metabolic effects. Chain length simply refers to the length of the fat molecule, when examined under a microscope.


 

Research undertaken by Marie-Pierre St Onge et al published in the Journal for the American College of Nutrition in 2008 assessed the basic parameters of blood pressure, total cholesterol and fasting glucose concentrations over 16 weeks and found no adverse affects on these metabolic risk factors. This is an important study, as it dispels some of the concerning medically-conceived notions of how saturated fats affect our biochemistry and physiology.


 

MCT Oils are often used during ketogenic programs, as they are believed to be an excellent "brain fuel" without any of the usual glucose and starches that we rely upon for mental energy.

 

 

Can MCT oil be Heated?

Yes. Because MCT oil is a saturated fat, it is very stable to oxidation and rancidity when heated. This is due to the fact that the lipid molecule does not contain any double bonds. It also has a high smoke point due to its high level of purity. Therefore, MCT oils can be added to coffee.

 

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