What is MCT Oil?
MCT is an acronym for medium-chain triglycerides. Let me explain.
Triglycerides are essentially fats, and in this case, we are talking about medium-length chains of fatty acids. There are only four of them present in MCT oils:
Most MCT oils are entirely composed of either capric or caprylic acids. Others have a mix of both, including the other two acids. Each has its own special benefits
MCT oils can therefore be defined as naturally occurring fatty acids present in select foods. The two primary sources are coconut and palm kernel oils, followed by dairy products.
How MCT Oil is Made
Recall the four fatty acids? First, they have to be isolated from coconut and palm kernel oils, which, as I already told you earlier, are the primary sources of MCT oils. To achieve that, a process called fractionation is initiated. It extracts the medium-length chains of fatty acids from the other fatty acids present in these foods.
Thereafter, these MCTs undergo another chemical process called lipase esterification, where an enzyme (lipase) is used to produce triglycerides. From here, another process separates out the enzyme before the oil goes through deacidification and deodorization.
A quality analysis will then be done on the final product, and if it passes the test, the product will be ready for consumption.
How are MCTs Different From Other Types of Fats?
Sometimes consumers confuse MCTs and LCTs. Let’s end the confusion once and for all.
The major difference between the two is in their definitions. One has medium-length chains of triglycerides, while the other has longer chains of triglycerides.
LCTs must pass through the digestive system since they need bile or pancreatic enzymes for digestion. MCTs, on the other hand, do not require bile or pancreatic enzymes. They'll skip your digestive system and head right to your liver and gut, where they'll be broken down and converted into sources of energy for your body.
How about MCTs and coconut oils? Are they the same? The simple answer is no! Coconut oil carries so many fatty acids, while MCT oils only have either the four fatty acids or a mixture of each.
Dr. Berg has made a very insightful video explaining the multiple health benefits that MCT oil offer to your body.
MCT Oil in Coffee
Finally, back to the main subject. Wellness trailblazers lead the bulletproof coffee movement. For them, this is a healthy coffee beverage that packs quite a punch. It not only energizes you but also keeps you full, thanks to the fats from the MCT oils. And there’s more besides that.
1. How MCT Oil Enhances the Flavor and Texture of Coffee
One fun fact about most MCT oils is that they are flavorless and odorless. You can therefore add them to drinks or foods without worrying that they will alter their taste.
However, adding them to coffee is a whole other experience. MCT oils will emulsify your brew and create tiny droplets that will give it a smooth, slightly creamy texture and velvety mouthfeel. Also, the neutral taste this supplement has could help balance out any bitterness present in your brew. In fact, it might just be what you need to neutralize coffee made from dark roast beans, which tend to be a little more bitter and acidic.
Another interesting observation is that such a brew will keep you more alert and focused. And when you are in such a mental state, it's easier to pick out subtle, complex flavors in your coffee beverage.
2. The Benefits of Combining Caffeine and MCT Oil For Energy and Focus
Before we get into this, first understand that while there is some evidence to suggest that MCTs may benefit brain health, more research is still needed to fully figure out their effects.
Previously, I mentioned how MCT oils are quickly metabolized by the body, providing an instant source of energy for your muscles and organs. Your brain isn’t an exception. Research shows that the ketones in MCTs supply energy to the brain, leading to better cognitive function.
MCTs may also double the production of mitochondria, which is a brain cell responsible for producing energy within brain cells. This, in turn, improves brain function, leading to better focus and clarity of thought.
Let’s not forget that bulletproof coffee combines both MCT oils and coffee. Caffeine is a natural stimulant you can count on for improved brain, focus, and cognitive performance. It also increases blood sugar levels and neural activity, leading to quick bursts of energy.
Health Benefits of MCT Oil in Coffee
By now, you already have an idea of how adding MCT oils to your brew can change your health for the better. From energizing your body to improving your focus. It would also be great if you knew of the other benefits as well.
3. Sustained Release of Energy
The energy boost from caffeine unfortunately only lasts for a short time. But when you pair your drink with MCT oils, your body will continue to be fueled by the energy released from the accelerated metabolic conversion of MTCs.
4. Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Some studies found that MCT oils can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance and inflammation, making them beneficial for those battling diabetes. There are also other studies that dispute this, so it is a benefit you might want to take with a pinch of salt.
5. Better Athletic Performance
When used as a pre-workout drink, bulletproof coffee can also help your body burn fat for energy. This was confirmed by a study where athletes who took MCTs with food utilized more fat for energy (instead of carbs).
6. Improved Gut Health
Researchers at the National Library of Medicine carried out a study that revealed MTCs improved gut health in multiple ways. This can be attributed to their antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
7. Regular Bowel Movements
Both MCT oils and coffee have compounds that can keep your digestive system working at its peak.
8. Managing Brain Conditions
Even though we don’t have conclusive studies yet, MCTs are believed to have a positive impact on brain health, especially when you combine them with a ketogenic diet. Some of the conditions they can manage include epilepsy, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Suppresses Appetite
Caprylic acid, one of the fatty acids in MCT oils, appears to have properties that enable it to moderate ghrelin, a hormone that induces hunger. This is supported by the fact that many drinkers of this beverage admit to feeling full for hours after imbibing it.
This supplement also supports weight loss in various ways. Let’s talk about that briefly.
How MCT Oil Can Aid in Weight Loss and Support a Healthy Metabolism
Whether you pair it with coffee or other drinks and foods, you will still feel full for a long time, not to mention experiencing a suppressed appetite. Combine this with the reduced calorie intake, and you have the perfect remedy for weight loss. It’s not lost on us that some of these claims are still subjects of study. But even as more research is done to fully ascertain the findings, most users continue to experience these benefits.
In fact, let’s add metabolism to the mix. As you are already aware, MCT oils are metabolized faster than other forms of fat, plus they won’t be stored as fat. Instead, the calories will be converted into energy, which further increases your metabolic rate.
All these processes aid in weight loss, which will in turn lower your risk of diseases such as heart complications and obesity. However, it’s important to note that such results will only be experienced if the user also maintains a healthy lifestyle and diet.
10. The Potential Benefits of MCT Oil For Brain Health
Up to this point, we all know that MCT oils have the potential to refine our brain function and help us focus. This is in part due to the ketones in the supplement. It’s an alternative source of energy that the brain can utilize for enhanced cognitive performance.
MCTs can also improve focus and clear thinking by increasing the production of mitochondria, which is a brain cell responsible for generating energy within cells, including those in the brain. And since this supplement has anti-inflammatory properties, your brain will also be protected from the damage brought about by inflammation. Just like with most of the other benefits, more research is still being done to fully understand the potential benefits of MCT oils for brain health.
Now is the right time to take the first or next step toward improving your health and wellness. It’s actually the least you can do if you truly care about yourself. In case you were wondering where to start, MCT oils might just be the launching pad you have been looking for.
For coffee lovers, no other solution could be better than this. Pair this supplement with your beverage, and you have yourself a wellness-promoting brew. Think about all those benefits, from increased energy and better brain function to reduced weight and better athletic performance. Isn’t that what we all deserve?
As you make this part of your diet, remember to only take your bulletproof coffee in moderation. Too much of it will instead drag you back into the hole you are trying to escape from.