Move over coconut oil. MCT oil is the new oil on the health block that everyone is talking about it. MCT oil is gaining popularity among nutritionists, personal trainers and athletes, with many claiming it turns your body into a fat burning machine. But does it live up to the hype?
First things first, MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides (or medium chain fatty acids) which is a form of dietary fat. Studies have revealed that medium chain triglycerides are packed full of health benefits and are a valuable component to any diet. As a result many have come to believe that the more the better, hence the creation of MCT oil.
MCT oil is a manufactured byproduct of coconut and palm kernel oils, which has undergone the separation of medium chain triglycerides from the rest of the oil’s components. The result? A light-yellow liquid oil concentrated with medium chain triglycerides, primarily capra fatty acids.
The chemical structure of medium chain triglycerides means they are absorbed easily and transported to the liver where they are instantly used for energy. This ‘energy hit’ is predominantly why athletes, body builders and health practitioners are jumping on the MCT oil bandwagon. The energy provided by MCT oil ignites a thermogenic (aka calorie burning) effect in the body. So you are less likely to store fat cells. It is also said to boost your metabolism.
MCT oil is often compared to coconut oil with many questioning which is better for you? Coconut oil is naturally comprised of all four medium chain fatty acids, caproic, caprylic, capric and lauric acid. Many argue that during the manufacturing of MCT oil the most valuable component of coconut oil, lauric acid, is lots. Lauric acid is what gives coconut oil its antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. However, MCT oil does have a greater concentration of medium chain fatty acids than coconut oil
The health industry seems divided as to whether MCT oil is as beneficial to energy levels and weight loss as devotees claim. The science behind the absorption of MCT oil is substantial, but there is little evidence to support the wide array of health claims being made about it. So if you’re going to choose between coconut oil and MCT oil perhaps sticks with coconut oil for now as it has more proven health benefits.