The Promising Future of Palm Free MCT oil
Though MCT oil has been around for decades, MCT oil is moving its way to the mass market because of the trending Keto Diet. Suddenly you can find this type of oil everywhere: online in nutritional supplement web shops and offline in different health stores. What makes this product so popular?
To help you find an answer, we cover different aspects in this article. Namely: what MCT oil is, how your body digests it and how it plays a role in improving your health on a ketogenic lifestyle.
First things first: what is MCT oil?
MCT oil is short for Medium Chain Triglycerides oil and contains of two main fatty acids: Caprylic (C8) and Capric (C10). The product is a concentrated fraction from either coconut oil OR Palm Kernel oil. For us, it is clear that coconut is the only way to go as the sustainable alternative to Palm-based products.
There are several types of MCT oil commercially available, with different ratios of C8 and C10 fatty acids. The most common ratio is 60:40 (C8:C10), yet a pure C8 is also very popular and one of Ketogenic Ingredients strongholds The different ratios of these fatty acids have different impacts on our body, with C8 creating Ketones and C10 leading to the biogenesis of mitochondria.
The digestion of MCTs compared to LCTs
The digestion of MCT oil is in the first stage the same as the digestion of Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are present in products like olive oil, fish oil, and sunflower oil. Within our digestive tract, the pancreas secretes lipase. This action results into disconnecting the Sn1,3 fatty acids from the glycerol backbone, ending up with two free fatty acids and a 2-acylglycerol. This process starts in the stomach yet takes mostly place in the gut. As a reaction, the body then releases bile salts to effectively emulsify the 3 fatty acids and 2-acylglycerol, making it ready for absorption. Migrating through the microvilli on the small intestine, the components now circulate in the enterocyte. Still following? This is where things start to get interesting and LCTs and MCTs take a different path!
In the enterocyte, LCT’s are being re-esterified into triglycerides and synthesized into lipoproteins called chylomicrons. These will then transfer through the lymph system to the liver and other tissues. A long route!
MCTs, however, are not re-esterified. They maintain their form as small free fatty acids, making it possible to directly enter the bloodstream and the liver. The liver quickly breaks down these fatty acids into an instant source of energy, called ketones. See it as LCTs taking a detour and MCTs taking the highway!
Health benefits of MCT oil
Among keto advocates, it is a well-known fact that MCTs play an important role in reaching goals like fat loss. This has several reasons. Compared to LCTs, as being discussed above, MCTs take a shorter route within the digestive tract and lead to a higher energy expenditure. As a result, consuming MCT may lead to increased fat loss (and especially visceral fat!) and improved body weight (1).
In addition, it has been shown that MCT oil increases the release of 2 hormones that promote satiety and suppress feelings of hunger, namely peptide YY and leptin (2). Even compared to regular coconut oil, taking 2 tablespoons of MCT oil prior to breakfast leads to increased satiety (3). This discovery has probably also to do with a lower rise of triglycerides and glucose when consuming MCTs instead of coconut oil.
Lastly, your body can directly convert MCTs into energy as ketones because of the shorter chains, preventing fat storage. Ketones are especially a highly beneficial energy fuel for the brains and C8 oil is to be considered the type of oil that leads to highest ketone production.
In summary, all the above-mentioned points show that MCT oil has great beneficial properties for people who want to manage their weight. Even when someone is not adhering to a ketogenic diet, taking MCT oil can still promote visceral fat loss!
MCT oil for best success
With all the promising health benefits, it is important to implement MCT oil into your diet the right way. MCTs can successfully convert into energy, given the conditions that daily carb-intake is low (<50 grams) and the oil is being consumed separately from a meal. The key of implementing MCT in your diet is starting with a small amount, since your body is not familiar with the digestion at first. Start with adding 1 teaspoon a day to your coffee, 2 teaspoons after 3 days and 1 tablespoon after one week and slowly build up further till 2 tablespoons. When you are trying to lose weight, it is inevitable to consume MCT oil as a part of your total daily calorie & fat intake and not as an addition to it. Even though MCT oil supports visceral fat loss, the bottom line of losing weight is always to be in caloric deficit.
Since the popularity of a keto lifestyle has risen tremendously over the last few years, there are also more MCT-based products available and arriving on the market. For both nutritional supplement companies, individuals as well as for health professionals, it may be a challenge to find out which MCT oil meets the high-quality standards. To make it easier for you, the characteristics of a high-quality MCT oil are: non-GMO, Palm Free (sustainable derived oil from 100% coconuts), clear label with the different types of oil stated, highly refined and without any unnecessary ingredients like solvents. So do keep this in mind, since there are also a lot of misleading products on the market such as MCT made from unsustainable palm kernel oil or products that don’t show the ratio of type of MCT.
The bottom line is that MCT oil can be very beneficial to your health for different reasons, provided that you invest in a product that meets the high-quality standards.