MCT oil is extremely popular for its fat-burning qualities and easy digestibility. Many people are attracted to MCT oil’s ability to support their fitness goals through improved weight management and exercise performance. Everyone can take advantage of its benefits for the heart and brain.*
What is MCT Oil?
MCTs are “better for you” fats, specifically MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids), aka MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). MCTs come in four lengths, from 6 to 12 carbons long. The “C” means carbon:
- C6: caproic acid
- C8: caprylic acid
- C10: capric acid
- C12: lauric acid
Their medium length gives MCTs unique effects. They’re quickly and efficiently turned to energy, therefore less likely to turn to body fat. The “most medium” of the medium-chain fatty acids, the C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid) MCTs, have the most advantages and are the two in Flora’s Organic MCT Oil.
Health Benefits of MCT Oil
Whether your goal is to support your gut health or cognition, increase your energy and ability to exercise, feel full with less food, improve your body composition or support overall health and longevity, MCT oil offers benefits.*
MCTs naturally maximize our endurance and metabolism, leading to enhanced energy output.* The medium-chain-triglyceride ketogenic diet has been shown to help cells create more and bigger energy factories, something that could have a considerable impact on people with fatigue. MCTs may upregulate cell energetics through this mitochondrial biogenesis.
MCTs are turned into ketones which can cross the blood-brain barrier, which means they get into the brain. Once in the brain, ketones can be used as brain fuel. The C8 and C10 MCTs (like in Flora's organic MCT oil) are the ones that turn most readily to ketones. Ketones may be a good fuel source for aging brains *, because older brains, especially older female brains, don't use glucose very well as fuel. They may also influence the brain’s capacity to learn, remember and adapt, and potentially impact mood.
Good Body Composition
MCTs increase our feelings of fullness, and this may be because they aid the release of satiety hormones like leptin. Studies have found that having MCT oil at breakfast can result in eating less food at lunch, ultimately leading to less body fat accumulation. A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials in healthy adults showed that using MCTs in place of other fats can potentially help with modest weight control, and maybe even help us to have small waists and hips, and impact fat under our skin and around our organs.* MCTs may have cardiometabolic benefits, helping to offset the damaging effects of a high fat diet.
How MCTs Work
Unlike other fats, MCTs go right to the liver, are processed quickly, then shuttled to your cells’ mitochondria. You may remember mitochondria from biology class as the energy factories of the cells. MCTs, therefore, have an enormous capacity for energy-production and fat-reduction. Because they don’t require digestive enzymes and bile for digestion, they have been employed by and may be well tolerated by people who don't digest fat well, due to bowel resections, pancreatic or enzyme insufficiency, or gallbladder removal.
Why We Decided to Make an MCT Oil
Safeguarding the environment and human health are essential Flora values. Although there are many MCT oils out there, some are from palm, and most are made by chemical extraction with solvents. Additionally, there may be no protections for animals in the harvest area. We were shocked and saddened to discover that animal labor is sometimes used to reduce the cost of picking coconuts.
That’s why Flora uses only fresh, organically grown, non-GMO, macaque- and rainforest-friendly coconuts that are ethically harvested by hand as a source of MCT oil. The coconut oil is processed with cold fractionation, not environmentally harmful solvents. Flora carries out extensive safety testing to ensure there are no traces of toxic chemicals, molds, or heavy metals to jeopardize health when the brain and liver use those MCTs.
How Do I Take MCT Oil?
Studies have shown positive effects at two tablespoons per day. Start by slowly substituting some of your daily fat intake for MCT oil and increase over time.
To sustain the good habits that support our brain and body composition, we often need to replace tempting but not-so-good-for-us treats. This recipe is a good one to keep on hand for those moments when a peanut butter cup or peppermint patty is calling your name.
Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.