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What MCT is and what it is for: Know your health benefits


What MCT is and what it is for: Know your health benefits

MCT oil provides caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) acids in an ultraconcentrated form, different from traditional coconut oil. A good MCT oil contains about 60% caprylic acid and 40% capric acid, much higher than what is found in traditional coconut oil containing on average only 7% caprylic acid and 6% capric acid. Caprylic and capric acids are medium chain triglycerides that provide rapid energy as they are easily converted into ketones - energetic molecules produced by the liver after consumption of MCT oil.

Its composition - highly concentrated in C8 and C10 - makes it more appropriate in certain clinical uses, which include reduced appetite, weight loss and thermogenic effect, improved cognitive and neurological functions, aids in neurodegenerative diseases, increased energy levels and improving mitochondrial function and preventing and reducing the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and epilepsy. Studies indicate that its use as an important ally in weight loss, when replacing the other source of fat, happens through its action in satiety since ketones help in the suppression of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and consequently the production of leptin - a hormone that signals satiety in the brain - increases.

MCT for brain and heart health

Other studies also point out the benefits of ingestion of 20 grams of MCT per day, the amount indicated for protection against degenerative neurological diseases. Mental Healthy Day showed that MCT supplementation stimulated cognition in people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's, with marked improvement in several participants. The heart may also benefit from MCT: research has shown that its consumption may contribute to improved cardiovascular health by reducing the incidence of heart attacks.

Power source and fast processing in the body: MCT in action

Unlike the long chain fats commonly eaten in the diet, which need to be bile (released by the gallbladder), and pancreatic enzymes (produced in the pancreas), MCT oil, once it reaches the intestine, goes directly into the intestine where it is transported to the liver and converted into ketones by mitochondria.

In this way, the liver releases the ketones into the bloodstream again, where they are transported throughout the body - even through the blood-brain barrier, supplying energy to the brain. As they have rapid metabolism and are used immediately to provide energy, they are not stored as fat by the body - unlike the sources of long chain fat present in various foods.

Like traditional coconut oil, MCT oil also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, removing harmful microorganisms from the intestine such as viruses, fungi, bacteria and parasites.

How to start consuming MCT?

MCT consumption may be daily. Initially, a teaspoon is suggested - which can be added to your Bulletproof Coffee recipe or to culinary recipes like salads and cakes - to avoid unwanted gastrointestinal effects as your gut adapts to this new form of fat.

Over time and increased intestinal tolerance, the amount can be gradually increased to four teaspoons per day (20g).

It is important to emphasize that MCT is part of a healthy diet and an important complement. The introduction of MCT into the diet may be a possible shortcut to achieving the ketosis state - known to those following a ketogenic or low carb diet or to those who are doing intermittent fasting - since ketone production will increase and, consequently, restriction of carbohydrates can be mitigated.