The medium-chain triglyceride oil, also known as MCT oil, is now widely accepted amidst nutritionists. The high nutritional value it provides is the reason for its acceptance.
It is a copy of the naturally found oil in certain foods and fruits especially coconut oil, palm kernel and a lot of dairy products. Because this oil is so nutritious to the body, it was synthesized by scientists to make it more available.
Research has shown that there are many benefits of MCT Oil. A very prominent one is that it helps with weight loss and management and it is also a very good source of energy.
There is a lot of research on the other benefits of MCT Oil and it is still undergoing study. Such benefits like the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, liver disease, diarrhea, gastrointestinal diseases, etc.
How Is MCT Oil Produced?
MCT Oil is industrially made and the major process of making it is through fractionation. During this process, the Medium-chain triglyceride is extracted from their natural sources, coconut being the major one and isolated.
During isolation, some acids are not usually extracted for some reason. Acids like Caprylic acids (C8) and Capric acid (C10) are the main components of the MCT oil.
The major reason is that some of the acids are not too useful or have an unusual smell or bad taste. The Caprylic acids and Capric acids are easily absorbed into the bloodstream making it faster to perform the necessary functions.
The major advantage that MCT oils have over other acids is the length of its carbon chains. Medium-chain triglyceride is so-called because of the medium amount of carbon chains. It consists of about 6 to 12 carbons.
The Major Types Of MCTs
There are four major types of fatty acids found in MCTs. Although, the synthesized oil may not contain all of these acids as found in their natural form. The fatty acids are Caproic acid (C6), Caprylic acid (C8), Capric acid (C10) and Lauric acid (C12).
1. Caproic acid (C6):
This fatty acid is characterized by bad smell and taste. This major reason is why it is not isolated during MCT oil synthesis. Although, it is easily converted into ketone.
2. Caprylic acid (C8):
This fatty acid makes up 7% of coconut oil. It is also termed the Brain Octane Oil. It is the most preferred acid for energy because it produces more energy for the brain to use and at a faster rate than its counterparts.
When extracted from coconut oil and in its pure form, it is more effective.
3. Capric acid (C10):
This fatty acid like the above one also makes up 7% of coconut oil. This acid converts oil into ketone at a slower rate than Caprylic acid.
But because it is more affordable, it is very popular in the market. It is also very effective in performing the required functions.
4. Lauric acid (C12):
Coconut oil consists of almost half of this acid. About 49% of it. Some would rather tag it as a long-chain triglyceride than a medium-chain triglyceride because it doesn’t get digested immediately.
It has to get to the liver first. This mechanism is not a characteristic of a medium-chain triglyceride. Although it possesses some antimicrobial qualities, it does not supply energy as well as C8 and C10 do.
How To Use MCT Oils
The oils and supplements can be used based on your discretion or based on whichever form you have. They come in oil, and powder form, depending on how fast you want to see results.
The only caution that needs to be taken is to follow the instructions of your nutritionist or health adviser. Mostly, the dosage comes with the products.
But for special cases, make sure to consult a doctor. In some cases, you can mix the supplements with foods, especially the powder forms or have it taken as pills.
For children, it can also be taken through the mouth. It should take up about 60% of the number of calories that they take in.
While in the case of adults who are critically ill and cannot feed normally, they can get the supplements intravenously (IV). The supplement would serve as a source of fat, albeit healthy fat. Here is a list of options on how to use your MCT Oil:
Cook With It:
Yes, this is one of the best ways to make use of the oil. The fear that the nutritional value will reduce while cooking is not valid. It heats stable to a reasonable extent. The caution is to not overcook it. You could just pour it over an almost finished food. ‘
Make Smoothies With It:
Smoothies are a common favorite amongst people, therefore it is frequently taken. Adding MCT Oils to your smoothies makes it ingestible for you as you would almost not feel its presence.
Add To Coffee:
Starting to get the picture that the MCT Oil goes in just about anything. This recipe makes a great coffee with added nutrients of course.
Make Salad Dressing:
Not satisfied with the sold salad dressings with preservatives? You could make yours with MCT Oils. It works just as well as the other oils, only more nutritious and gives more energy with less fat.