MCT oil: Everything you need to know & 10 benefits

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In the process of learning how to improve the keto lifestyle, I come across coconut oil and MCT oil. I started wondering: which one is better, what are the benefits and how it can help me.

mct oil

MCT oil is one of the quickest sources of energy and research shows MCT oil may promote healthy weight loss, fat loss, boosts brain and memory function, support proper gut function, boost energy levels, and help control hunger.

In addition to that, MCT oil is a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders.

This oil is made by extracting MCTs from coconut and palm kernel oil through a process called fractionation.

Continue reading to learn how it works and why MCTs are so good for you.

What is MCT oil?

MCT it is one of the most bioavailable sources of energy (the combination of the who fatty acids, C8 and C10, or pure C8), made by extracting medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from palm and coconut oil.

MCT oil is a form of saturated fatty acid, that has a lot of benefits, from better weight management to an improved cognitive function. MCTs don’t rely on other enzymes for absorption in our bodies, so it makes it a quick source of energy.

A considerable source of MCTs is coconut oil, the concentration of fatty acids are roughly 62% to 65%.

The reason that makes MCTs an essential source of essential healthy fats is that medium-chain fats are digested quickly and sent to your liver, there is a thermogenic effect, which determines a positive change to your metabolism.

MCTs are absorbed more efficiently from your body because there is less effort to destroy the carbon bonds. Compared to longer chain fat, MCTs are smaller and they can penetrate easier the cell membranes and don’t require to use of special enzymes for our bodies.

The 4 Different types of MCTs

MCTs is the most efficient saturated fats in terms of energy production because they are known for quick absorption by your body. They produce ketones, an energy molecule rich in energy for your body.

We can find in food four types of MCTS:

  1. Caproic Acid (6 carbons) – the bit off or the sore throat you feel when you drink this oil is from too much caproic acid in it. But this is not a real problem, because there is usually not enough of it in coconut oil or MCT oil to taste it. C6 makes up about 1% of the total MCTs in coconut oil.
  2. Caprylic Acid (8 carbons) – this is 12% of the MCTs in coconut oil. Thanks to the active antimicrobial proprieties, this MCT helps you to maintain a healthy gut. After C6, this is the most efficient fatty acid, because it converts ketones very quickly in your liver.
  3. Capric Acid (10 carbons) – C10 turns into ketones rapidly in the liver, like C8, but it is a little bit slower, during the ATP process, and makes 10 percent of MCTs in coconut oil.
  4. Lauric Acid (12 carbons) – it represents 77% of MCTs in coconut oil, Lauric acid has a slower metabolization process, with a lot of antimicrobial proprieties (kills microorganism or stops their growth). Studies show that lauric acid should even be considered a MCT due to it is longer time to metabolize and larger size. This acid can’t be turned into energy as fast as the others and that makes it most inefficient and you will not find a great quality MCT oil.

The MCT will be converted more quickly to ketones if the chain is shorter. Fatty acid with longer carbon atoms has a less metabolic rate.

Benefits of MCT Oil

The most significant difference between coconut oil and MCT is that coconut oil has MCTs in it, concentrated MCT oil is almost entirely MCTs. Instead, the MCT oil is much more concentrated and is mainly made up of capric acid and caprylic acid.

By recent research, there is no shortage of coconut oils and treatments it offers not only MCT but also antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory proprieties and more others.

It is very important that you understand the difference between the MCT and coconut oil so that you know how to get the most out of your body.

There are 10 of the most important MCT oil Benefits:

  • Weight Loss and Maintenance – MCTs seems to have positive effects on fat burning and weight reduction, compared to other types of oils. It can help increase satiety and raise the metabolic rate. Shortly, it helps the body produce ketones, which have the same benefits as the ketogenic diet, but without needing to cut carbs drastically.
  • Supports Cognitive Health – when we provide our bodies with MCT oil and other healthy fats, we get more energy and think more clearly, because the majority of our brains consist of fatty acids.
  • Helps prevent Heart Disease – MCTs might be able to prevent heart disease by keeping blood triglycerides stable and modestly reducing LDL (harmful) cholesterol.
  • Boosts Ketones – If you are following a keto diet – that’s a low-carb high-fat, then taking MCT oil can help you reach the fat-burning state known as ketosis easier.
  • Can improve your exercise performance – More and more athletes making the conversion to low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets and benefits for all the different types of exercises do not delay to appear.
  • Supports Digestion and Nutrient Absorption – MCT and coconut oil balance the bacteria in the gut microbiota, which has positive effects on the digestive symptoms, ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from foods and energy expenditure.
  • Lowered cholesterol – MCTs may also contribute to heart health by lowering the bad cholesterol. There are a few studies to back up this statement, but there’s definitely place for more science-based confirmations.
  • Aids Gut Health – MCTs are able of killing certain types of harmful bacteria because it is a natural antibiotic. That happens without decreasing or removing “good” bacteria.
  • Helps Satisfy You – There are three advantages of adding MCT oil to keto snacks: it boosts ketones, gives you health benefits and keeps you satiated.

Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil

Coconut oil is very good for you. It’s a cheap, easy to find and a rich source of lauric acid, a medium-length chain triglyceride (MCT).

The biggest difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is their MCT availability because coconut oil is 55% MCTs, while MCT oil is 100% MCTs.

Coconut oil and coconut on old wooden background

MCT oil is actually made by processing coconut oil. You could think of MCT oil as the quick way to getting the most powerful fats from coconut oil.

How to use it for the best keto results?

The best ways to incorporate MCT oil into your routine is to add it in your bulletproof coffee or other warm or cold drinks. It will provide tons of energy both for your body and brain. It’s the perfect addition to keto smoothies, pre-workout drinks or fat bombs.

bulletproof coffee

How much MCT oil should I consume to see benefits?

This is a question that can’t be simply answered because there is a lot of factors to consider. Given the literature and all the studies already make, you can see positive benefits at 2 tablespoons of MCT is about 30ml. Start adding the oil slowly into your diet, see how you feel and increase the dose.

What are MCT Oil Nutrition Facts?

Each tablespoon of MCT oil (about 15ml) contains:

  • Calories: 125 kcal
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated fat: 14 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of advantages using both coconut oil and MCT if you want to maximize your weight loss and lean mass. Also, if you are looking to get an energy boost for your workout, MCT may be the ideal alternative. You could use coconut oil on a regular basis post workout, but if you need some quick energy for action, use MCT oil.


Ioana is a food and travel lover. Her greatest passion is developing mouthwatering recipes that are comforting, easy to make, and budget friendly! She firmly believes that cooking should be fun! About me...

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Hello! My name is Ioana Borcea, and I'm here to provide you with mouthwatering recipes. This blog is all about sharing my favorite tested easy to make, delicious low-carb & keto, nutrient-dense recipes.

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