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MCT Oil: What Happens Inside Your Body When You Consume MCT’s
What are MCT’s
Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs) ranging from 12 to 18 carbons long are the predominant form of fat in the American diet – MCTs, however, are composed of only 6 to 10 carbon links
Triglycerides are named after their chemical structure, more specifically the length of their fatty acid chains – all triglycerides are made up of a glycerol molecule and 3 fatty acids
Because of their shorter chain length, MCTs have a number of unique properties which give them advantages over the more common LCTs
MCTs provide about 10% fewer calories than LCTs – 8.3 calories per gram for MCTs versus 9 calories per gram for LCTs
Reduced chain length also means that MCTs are more rapidly absorbed by the body and more quickly metabolized and as fuel
The result of this accelerated metabolic conversion is that instead of being stored as fat, the calories contained in MCTs are very efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles
MCTs cross the double mitochondrial membrane quickly and do not require the presence of carnitine, unlike LCTs
The result is an excess of acetyl-coA, which then follows various metabolic pathways, both in the mitochondria (Krebs Cycle) and in the cytosol, resulting in the production of ketones
These are the main medium-chain fatty acids:
C6: Caproic acid or hexanoic acid.
C8: Caprylic acid or octanoic acid.
C10: Capric acid or decanoic acid.
C12: Lauric acid or dodecanoic acid
Digestion and Energy
MCTs are easily digested and do not require the production and utilization of bile
Results in the production of excess acetyl-coA which breaks down into ketones – rapid formation of ketone bodies gives immediate energy to the brain and body
MCTs act similar to carbs in that they provide an immediate energy source – however, MCTs don’t raise blood sugar or increase insulin levels as carbs do
Compared to other types of oils and fats, MCTs seem to have positive effects on fat burning and weight reduction as it helps increase satiety and even raise the metabolic rate at which the body functions
MCTs suppress fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation, helping the body produce ketones
MCTs are powerful, natural antibiotics that help balance bacteria in the gut
MCT’s are known to kill: Streptococcus (which causes strep throat, pneumonia and sinus infections), straphylococcus (which causes food poisoning and urinary tract infections), neisseria (which causes meningitis, gonorrhea and pelvic inflammatory diseases)
1) NutritonReview.org. (2016, June 20). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) | Nutrition Review. Retrieved from https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/
2) MCT Oil 101 – A Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-101
3) 5 Reasons to Use MCT Oil for Ketosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://drjockers.com/5-reasons-to-use-mct-oil-for-ketosis/