I was introduced to the benefits of MCT oil a little over 15 years ago as a natural bodybuilder through Parrillo Performance Nutrition. John Parrillo was one of the first to promote this super lipid to his clients as a product called CapTri. The chemical properties medium-chain triglycerides make MCT oil different from other saturated fat sources. Unlike long-chain triglycerides which can be stored preferentially as body fat medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to the liver as fuel. This means that the liver utilizes MCT oil like a carbohydrate for energy. As you can see from the graphic a lot of metabolic work comes into play when digesting a long-chain triglyceride as opposed to a medium chain triglyceride.
This unique chemical process makes MCT oil highly beneficial for 5 main reasons.
- Aids in weight loss or maintenance
- Aids in protecting brain health
- Aids in protecting heart health
- Improves energy levels and mood
- Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
MCTs aid in weight loss or maintenance because of their unique ability to be processed by the liver directly into energy making it a great carbohydrate substitution preventing spikes in insulin used for glucose processing. In the absence of carbohydrates the liver breaks down stored fat or MCTs to produce ketones as a substitute fuel. In addition the fat provides 9 cal/gram of energy compared to only 4 cal/gram for a carbohydrate. This means that energy levels can be increased using the same amount of fuel.
There is evidence to support that MCTs can have an incredible effect on brain health specifically reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s. The brain accounts for 20% of energy expenditure of the entire body and metabolic activity is constant over time. Aging reduces the ability of the brain to process glucose as brain food making brain cells insulin resistant. Alzheimer’s damages the ability of brain cells to take in the glucose needed for proper functioning causing cells to die. MCTs can bypass glucose metabolism getting energy directly to the brain and provide instant energy to brain cells without the assistance of insulin. For more information on MCTs and brain health check out this article.
MCTs have beneficial properties that could play a role in preventing atherosclerosis. It may help to lower lipids, oxidized LDLs, fat deposition, triglycerides and inflammation while raising HDLs. This may yield a net protective effect on overall risk of heart disease despite potential increases in total cholesterol and total LDL. In animal studies researchers have found MCTs have anti-coagulation effects that have been shown to lower serum cholesterol and reduce levels of cholesterol in the liver and other tissues.
MCTs are beneficial for balancing gut bacteria. This has positive effects on digestive symptoms, energy expenditure, and the ability of the gut to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Healthy fats are required to absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A found in plants like berries, squash and leafy greens), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and lutein. The lack or absence of healthy fats in the body impairs nutrient absorption.
MCT Oil vs. MCT Oil Powder
This supplement is a perfect addition to the ketogenic and paleo nutritional approaches which favor low carb eating. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this oil is gastric distress which has prompted manufacturers to create MCT oil powder. MCT oil in powder form has many advantages.
- Convenience – The powder form of this supplement is much easier to take on-the-go and incorporate in any beverage or meal. The oil can be cumbersome and overwhelming taste wise.
- Better Digestibility – The powder is easier on the digestive system which allows you to consume more at once. This leads to higher energy and ketone levels. A preliminary study on animals also suggests that the powder can improve nutrient digestibility.
- Cooking Advantages – The powder is easier to add to recipes than the oil. It adds a creamy texture to whatever it is added to instead of an oily texture.
- Overall Health Benefits – When the powder is created using high quality fiber like acacia, it can contribute to normalized bowel movements, reduced inflammation in the gut and a longer sense of fullness.
Keto Zone MCT Oil Powder
Not all MCT oil powders are created the same. Generic powders have a better price tag but have quality tradeoffs as a result. These tradeoffs diminish or negate the ketone driving potential of the MCT powder. Higher quality MCT oil powders have the following characteristics.
- The manufacturer uses a combination of C8 and C10 but does not use C12. C12 is still an MCT but takes much longer to be converted into energy.
- The manufacturer uses acacia fiber to create the powder form of MCT oil. A low quality fiber such as corn fiber, maltodextrin and liquid glucose can spike your blood sugar and stop ketosis, effect your energy levels as the result of a blood sugar spike and trigger digestive problems.
- The manufacturer avoids using fillers (corn fiber and maltodextrin psyllium husk), emulsifiers (soy/sunflower lecithin, monoglycerides and diglycerides), preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ, sodium benzoate and citric acid) and thickeners (xanthum gum and glycerol).
Keto Zone MCT Oil powder by Divine Keto adheres to the highest quality standards in the production of their supplement for maximal results. The ratio of C8 to C10 is 70% to 30%. The manufacturer uses acacia fiber as its carrier powder and adds no extra additives or fillers. See the nutrient facts below.
Keto Zone Founder – Dr. Colbert
Dr. Don Colbert has lived on the Keto Zone diet for the last 5 years and has seen results first hand. He is a board certified physician in anti-aging and a best-selling health author. Check out this video on the Keto Zone Diet!