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MCT Oil: What Happens Inside Your Body When You Consume MCT’s

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MCT Oil: What Happens Inside Your Body When You Consume MCT’s

What are MCT’s

Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs) ranging from 12 to 18 carbons long are the predominant form of fat in the American diet - MCTs, however, are composed of only 6 to 10 carbon links

Triglycerides are named after their chemical structure, more specifically the length of their fatty acid chains - all triglycerides are made up of a glycerol molecule and 3 fatty acids

Because of their shorter chain length, MCTs have a number of unique properties which give them advantages over the more common LCTs
MCTs provide about 10% fewer calories than LCTs – 8.3 calories per gram for MCTs versus 9 calories per gram for LCTs

Reduced chain length also means that MCTs are more rapidly absorbed by the body and more quickly metabolized and as fuel

The result of this accelerated metabolic conversion is that instead of being stored as fat, the calories contained in MCTs are very efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles

MCTs cross the double mitochondrial membrane quickly and do not require the presence of carnitine, unlike LCTs

The result is an excess of acetyl-coA, which then follows various metabolic pathways, both in the mitochondria (Krebs Cycle) and in the cytosol, resulting in the production of ketones

These are the main medium-chain fatty acids:

C6: Caproic acid or hexanoic acid.
C8: Caprylic acid or octanoic acid.
C10: Capric acid or decanoic acid.
C12: Lauric acid or dodecanoic acid


Digestion and Energy

MCTs are easily digested and do not require the production and utilization of bile

Results in the production of excess acetyl-coA which breaks down into ketones - rapid formation of ketone bodies gives immediate energy to the brain and body

MCTs act similar to carbs in that they provide an immediate energy source - however, MCTs don’t raise blood sugar or increase insulin levels as carbs do

Weight Loss

Compared to other types of oils and fats, MCTs seem to have positive effects on fat burning and weight reduction as it helps increase satiety and even raise the metabolic rate at which the body functions

MCTs suppress fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation, helping the body produce ketones


MCTs are powerful, natural antibiotics that help balance bacteria in the gut

MCT’s are known to kill: Streptococcus (which causes strep throat, pneumonia and sinus infections), straphylococcus (which causes food poisoning and urinary tract infections), neisseria (which causes meningitis, gonorrhea and pelvic inflammatory diseases)


1) (2016, June 20). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) | Nutrition Review. Retrieved from

2) MCT Oil 101 - A Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) 5 Reasons to Use MCT Oil for Ketosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from



A dietitian explains the pros and cons of coconut and MCT oil | You Versus Food

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Coconut oil and MCT oil: two sources of fat that are used in everything from stir-fries to dairy-free baking to Bulletproof-style coffees. Especially with the rise of the keto diet, coconut oil and MCT oil's reputed capabilities (everything from reduced brain fog to weight loss to more energy) are all over the internet.

And they've certainly got a "healthy halo" going for them — but are they really good for you? Dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman did a deep dive on the two oils to find out what their benefits are, what the cons are, and whether those oils take the crown as Healthiest Oil Ever. Watch and learn in this episode of You Versus Food.

Want more straight-from-a-nutritionist info on your favorite healthy foods? Check out the rest of our You Versus Food episodes:\u0026list=PLUa1mxBKMRYkaGUVHnrbXbycqwtD7iKqM

Tracy's wardrobe was provided by Aritzia.

About Well+Good:

From the beginning, Well+Good launched as the premier lifestyle and news publication devoted to the wellness scene—and its chic lifestyle components. Created by two journalists—and joined by many more—Well+Good is known for its impeccable reporting and trend-spotting on the healthy living beat. Well+Good has become the leading source of intel on boutique fitness and the juice industry, plus cutting-edge nutrition, natural beauty, and more. Well+Good is your healthiest relationship.

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What MCT Oil Does When NOT in Ketosis - New Brain Study

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