Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil is a product that’s slowly growing in popularity among consumers. It's easy to understand why MCT oils are starting to become more well-known since many regular MCT users claim that the oils help them maintain a healthy weight and increase their amounts of energy.
What is MCT oil?
MCTs are a kind of fatty substance that can be extracted from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and some dairy products. The original fatty substance is then turned into a liquid state so it can be more easily consumed.
How are MCTs unique from other fats?
There are multiple kinds of fats that can be found in our diets and each affects our systems differently. Fats consist of links of carbon atoms, and most of the fats that you eat in your diet are considered to be “long-chain” fatty atoms. This means the fat cell is made up of 13 to 21 carbon atoms.
A short-chain fatty acid contains 6 carbon atoms or less. MCT fat cells sit in the middle of the other two categories and are made up of 6 to 12 carbon atoms.
So, why does the amount of carbon atoms in an MCT fat cell matter? Since MCT cells are made up of fewer carbon acids than a long-chain fatty atom, they can be absorbed by your body far more quickly. This means that the MCT cells won’t be stored as sugar or glucose in your body (which eventually turns into fat cells for you).
Instead, the MCT fat cells will travel directly from your stomach to your liver. After the MCTs arrive in your liver, they’ll be converted into ketones and used as an energy source.
Sometimes MCT oil is associated with a keto diet since the main principle of the diet is for people to eat food that contains calories that can be used immediately. Even if you aren’t on a keto diet, MCT oil can help you manage your weight loss and bring you other benefits.
What are MCT oil’s benefits?
MCT oil is primarily used as a dietary supplement to help promote healthy weight loss by increasing the amount of endurance people have while exercising. Some studies also claim that MCT oil can help clear one’s mind and make it easier to think. Others believe that this oil can even help lessen certain kinds of dementia.
Not all of these are supported by hard scientific facts, but if you’re looking for a new way to lose weight or improve your memory, taking MCT oil is worth a shot since the oil is extremely safe for consumption. Below are three main benefits you could experience from taking MCT oil.
1. An improved memory function
MCT oil has been suggested to be able to help improve the memory of relatively healthy, albeit forgetful, people. However, MCT oil is unique because of some scientific research that suggests that MCT oil could slightly improve the memory of people with Alzheimer’s.
A 2016 review noted that people with Alzheimer's had a poorer take-up of glucose than the healthy control group. This lack of energy supply could affect people’s memory function in a negative fashion.
The reviewers also found that achieving ketosis can have a small beneficial effect on the thinking ability of people with Alzheimer's. Ketosis occurs when your body lacks carbohydrates in its system, so it turns to burn fat instead. This process could be helpful for Alzheimer’s patients because they don’t absorb glucose as easily as healthy patients. Instead, their bodies absorb ketones better, which could help fuel their brains so they have improved memory function
Unfortunately, Alzheimer's is an extremely complex disease and more research will need to be done before scientists can confirm that MCT oils will help improve an Alzheimer’s patient’s memory. Yet, the beginning research gives a hopeful starting point.
2. Provide an energy boost
Some people who take MCT oils on a regular basis report that it helps to boost their energy levels and improves the amount of endurance they have when they’re working out.
In 2009, a study discovered that recreational athletes who consumed foods that were full of MCTs could endure a high-intensity exercise for a longer period of time than athletes who’d eaten longer-chain fats.
Although this is another positive study that covers the benefits of MCT oils, the testing group was too small to determine if MCT oil definitely improves exercise endurance.
3. Assists with weight loss programs
Another advantage that regular users of MCT oils claim to have is the ability to lose weight more easily when they pair taking MCT oil with a weight loss program. A 2003 study discovered that intaking MCTs caused an increase in the calories that overweight men burned while a 2014 study stated that having MCTs in a diet instead of longer-chain fats caused an increase in hormones that made a person feel full more quickly.
While both of these studies suggest positive evidence, it should be noted that the studies looked at MCTs in general and not MCT oils.
Why are MCT and CBD oil a good mix?
Due to the properties that MCT oils may be able to provide, it makes sense that CBD oils and MCT oils would pair well together. CBD oil is believed to increase people’s mental state, relieve stress, decrease anxiety, help people sleep at night, and lessen joint and muscle pain.
Since CBD can help people manage their mood and their stress levels, when MCT is mixed as a carrier oil for CBD, the two create a powerful liquid that could help people have a more focused day. CBD & MCT tinctures can be a quick way to get the oils into your system by placing the dropper under your tongue. The oils will then quickly enter your bloodstream.
Why has my MCT-based CBD oil turned pink?
One odd thing many users find when they take MCT oil (in any liquid format) is that it has a tendency to turn pink over time. This happens because of an enzyme in MCT called polyphenol oxidase that shifts when it’s exposed to light and oxygen. This is a natural reaction, and the oil is still completely safe to use when this happens! However, it can be alarming to suddenly see that your yellowish liquid has turned pink if you aren’t aware of this possible change ahead of time.
Overall, people who use CBD oil and MCT oil separately on a regular basis believe that both of the oils have powerful qualities that can help improve mental well-being. Together, those properties are believed to combine to create an even more powerful substance to help people have a clear mind and increased energy. Whenever you’re looking for a new CBD and MCT combination oil, find a brand that promises high-quality CBD products so you can be sure you’ll be gaining the best results possible.