What are Medium-Chain Triglycerides?
Medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs for short) are made up of medium-chain fatty acids. The length of their chemical structure (carbon and hydrogen) is 6 to 12 carbons. We have 3 types of MCTs:
The Benefits of MCTs;
MCTs are very easy for the body to absorb and transform into energy which is why they are used therapeutically for people with malabsorption problems, like Crohn’s Disease. They’re also great for people without a gallbladder.
You may be skeptical about consuming fat as a supplemet since you may be afraid of weight gain but according to studies over a 12-week period, subjects who got MCT oil lost about 2 pounds more than those on placebo.
Some studies show that the effects of MCT may be very small but our bodies need healthy fats for a healthy metabolism and hormonal balance.
MCT oil is good for the health in other ways, too. It is an antioxidant with strong anti inflammatory properties and it promotes gut health.
Some other commonly mentioned benefits include:
-Promoting healthy weight by increasing satiety and boosting metabolism
-Reduce stored body fat
-Energize you and enable clear thinking
-Improve digestion and gut health
-Balance hormone levels
-Improve your mood
-Fight bacterial infection and viruses
-Absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods (such as vitamins)
Of course, apart from supplements (usually MCT oil), MCTs are present in foods such as:
-Palm kernel oil
When it comes to comparing the two, it depends what you are looking to get out of it. The MCT oil is the winner when it comes to the content of MCT but the advantage of natural sources is that they are rich in other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Grass fed dairy, beef and organic coconut oil are unquestionably great additions to a balanced diet.
To conclude, MCT is yet another nutritional component worth investing in. The lifestyles we have filled with processed, nutrient depleted foods definitely call for the right supplementation to increase the health value of what we consume. But whether you choose to eat a diet high in MCT or supplement your diet with MCT oil make sure you go for organic foods and reputable supplement brands. Getting high quality food and supplements is extremely important for your health.
MCT is not a miracle cure like it’s often claimed to be, but it has been proven beneficial by many studies. If you are looking for MCT only then the purest form of the oil is right for you. If you have a more general approach, try organic coconut oil or both.