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What the Heck is MCT Oil and Why Should we Care?

MCT oil stands for medium-chain triglyceride oil. It is a type of dietary fat that is composed of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), specifically caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). MCT oil is typically derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. It falls into the saturated fat category.

Unlike long-chain fatty acids found in most dietary fats, MCTs are shorter in length, which allows them to be more quickly and easily digested by the body. They are rapidly absorbed and transported directly to the liver, where they can be converted into energy in the form of ketones. MCT oil is often regarded as a healthier option compared to long-chain saturated fats due to its unique properties and potential health benefits. Let's look a little closer:

MCT oil has gained popularity for its potential health benefits and various uses. Some of the potential benefits of MCT oil include:

  1. Energy Source: MCT oil is a readily available source of energy, and its quick absorption makes it a popular choice for individuals following ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diets.

  2. Weight Management: MCT oil may help with weight management due to its potential to increase feelings of fullness, reduce calorie intake, and promote fat oxidation.

  3. Cognitive Function: The ketones produced from MCT oil can be used by the brain as an alternative fuel source. Some studies suggest that MCT oil may improve cognitive function and provide mental clarity.

  4. Exercise Performance: MCT oil can be used as a source of immediate energy during exercise, potentially enhancing endurance and athletic performance.

  5. Digestive Health: MCT oil has been found to have antimicrobial properties that can help support a healthy gut microbiome and potentially alleviate symptoms of certain digestive disorders.

MCT oil is typically consumed as a supplement, added to beverages, coffee, smoothies, or used as a cooking oil. Since it doesn't promote an insulin response it can be incorporated into a fasting window in small quantities, without "breaking" the fast. So it does work for those following Intermittent Fasting. However, it is still a concentrated source of calories, so moderation is always advised.

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