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MCT OIL – THE ULTIMATE WAY TO BURN FAT?

Athletes swear that it gives them more energy. So what is this magic elixir that so many claim can boost your metabolism and turn your body into a mean, lean, fat burning machine? It is MCT oil.

MCT simply stands for medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to long chain triglycerides (LCT), which are found in most foods. MCT is comprised of primarily caprylic and capric fatty acids, and is a light-yellow, odorless, translucent liquid at room temperature. MCT oil occurs naturally in coconut oil and other foods. Recently, athletes, bodybuilders, and diet gurus have jumped on the MCT bandwagon, embracing its fat burning and energy sustaining powers. So why are so many claiming this oil is the fuel needed to help burn unwanted body fat?


According to Dr Laurie Cullen at the Women’s Institute, when MCTs are absorbed into the blood stream they bypass the digestion process that longer chain fats need to go through. MCT’s provide quick energy for the body and are thus less likely to be stored in the fat cells. Further, Dr. Cullen says that when a meal includes medium chain triglycerides, there is a significant increase in the number of calories burned (thermogenic effect).  With MCT’s used for thermogenesis, and a portion converted to ATP, the energy currency of the cell, there is little left to be stored as fat, which helps to reduce body fat levels.

Many ketogenic diet and MCT oil spokespeople say that MCT’s energy sustaining powers can be explained as follows: when MCT oil is metabolized in the body, it behaves more like a carbohydrate than a fat. Remember that the fuel of preference for the body is carbohydrate. Unlike other fats, MCT oil does not go through the lymphatic system. Instead, it is transported directly to the liver where it is metabolized so it releases energy like a carbohydrate and creates lots of ketones (which can be used for fuel) in the process.

MCT Oil and Ketosis

Ketones are one of the brain’s two primary fuel sources, and also a vital source of ATP energy for the body. ATP energy is what allows every muscle to move inside your body. You may have heard people discussing the ketogenic diet, which is a diet designed to help the body run on ketones (from fats) rather than glycogen (from carbohydrates). This state is called ketosis. For anyone on a ketogenic or low carb diet, MCT oil is pure gold. But you don’t need to go full ‘keto’ to benefit from ketones.

MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains MCT’s, but only in relatively small quantities. C8 MCT (Caprylic Acid) comprises roughly 6% of coconut oil, and C10 (Capric acid) is usually around 9%. These two forms of MCT are particularly valuable because they take far fewer steps to convert to caloric energy than the other saturated fat forms found in coconut oil. Coconut oil is great, but if you really want to benefit from the fast acting fuel of MCT’s, choosing MCT oil is the way to go.

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