Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fatty acids which provide necessary energy to brain and body.
This review is provided by Mesa Lavender Farms®, and covers research indicating the benefits of MCT oil and the use of MCT oil in your daily diet.
Curtis Swift, Ph.D., Mesa Lavender Farms®
Mesa Lavender Farms USDA Organic Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil is the highest quality available. This is the carrier oil used in Mesa Lavender Farms® CBD tinctures. It is also available in quantity for those interested in improving their health and the health of their animals.
The what and why of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and health
Triglycerides are compounds containing a glycerol and three (tri) fatty acids, hence the term triglyceride. The image is of a glycerol with three capric fatty acids attached.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in Coconut oil available from Mesa Lavender Farms®, are extremely available energy sources, quickly absorbed and metabolized into energy by the liver. Consuming MCT oil as a source of fat quickly boosts energy levels while promoting fat loss (St-Pierre, et al. & Ong & Jones). Consumption of MCT oils also improves brain cognitive function, enhances exercise performance, helps manage diabetes, and supports gut health.
Not all medium-chain triglycerides are equated equally. MCTs are classified as those fatty acids which have carbon chains of 6 to 12. Caproic acid with 6 carbons in its chain is the shortest. Caprylic fatty acid (syn. octanoate) has 8 carbons in its chain, and Capric acid (syn. decanote) has 10 carbons in its chain, while Lauric acid has 12 carbons in a chain.
While Lauric acid is classed as an MCT oil, it has the characteristics of a long-chain triglyceride. It needs to be transported to the liver, oxidized and then metabolized for energy. The other MCTs on the other hand, don’t need to be broken down (metabolized). Even though all medium-chain triglycerides are delivered to the liver, they use different pathways. Lauric acid and long-chain fatty acids are delivered via the lymphatic system while caproic, caprylic, and capric fatty acids use the portal vein delivery system. These three shorter C-chain compounds are immediately used by the mitochondria and turned into energy. Mitochondria, small organelles present in every living cell, produce the energy used by every organism whether plant, animal, fungus, bacteria, or archaea. Studies have shown the rate of medium chain fatty acid oxidation and energy production is 10-fold faster than when long chain fatty acids are consumed.
Mesa Lavender Farms® MCT oil does not contain fillers such as palm oil. Palm oil has an especially high concentration of saturated fat, specifically the 16-carbon saturated fatty acid, palmitic acid. Palm oil increases blood levels of LDL cholesterol and increases risk of cardiovascular diseases. If supplementing your diet or the diet of your pets with fatty acids, Mesa Lavender Farms® MCT oil is what you should use. Peter Laskay has a nice summation of MCT and coconut oil for dogs you should check out. He mentions the problems with lauric acid in MCT oil. Mesa Lavender Farms® MCT oil does not contain lauric acid.
Weight Loss due to MCT oil
If weight loss is your goal, the presence of lauric acid in your MCT oil is not for you. Research by Onge and Jones, 2003, reported a greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue, when consuming MCT fatty acids as opposed to long-chain fatty acids. Subcutaneous adipose tissue makes up about 85% of your body fat. For this reason, medium-chain fatty acids are a major component of a Keto diet. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Choosing MCT oil without lauric acid is a top-notch way to go.
Note: Mesa Lavender Farms has selected an MCT oil which does not contain Lauric acid on purpose. We want to ensure we provide our customers the highest quality products possible and, due to the difficulty of being metabolized quickly and its potential to increase fatty tissue we have selected an MCT oil which contain no lauric acid. While coconut oil, the white greasy stuff, is 55-60% MCT fatty acids, it also contains 40-44% long-chain fatty acids. MCT oils are 100% MCT fatty acids.
St-Onge, et al. state “MCT consumption reduced food intake acutely” partly due to a change in the gut hormones which make you feel full.
MCT oil is considered a Brain Food
Your brain has a great need for energy, more than any other organ in your body. As a result, the immediate availability of MCTs makes them a highly efficient brain fuel. Croteau, et al. 2018, found MCTs might benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Fernando, et al., 2015, reported MCT oil, converted to ketones which are important alternative energy sources for the brain, “may be beneficial to people developing or already with memory impairment.”
Ketones are organic compounds produced in the liver, typically from glucose (sugar) when your body needs energy. If glucose is not available, ketones are produced from available fat and MCT fatty acids are a preferred source. For blood sugar, ketones, and diabetic ketoacidosis, check out the info at drmowll.com/are-exogenous-ketones-beneficial-for-blood-sugar/
While the research is not yet conclusive, “Reports detailing reduced brain glucose metabolism in the early stages of AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) led to the hypothesis that alternate energy sources (such as MCTs) aimed at increasing neuronal metabolism may protect neurons and thus benefit patients with AD.”
Bulletproof coffee. MCT oil, butter, and CBD
MCT oil is used along with butter to create one variation of bulletproof coffee. You can find many different products called bulletproof coffee to include those with essential oils, zinc, proteins and various supplements. Supposedly, the original Bulletproof coffee was a cup of coffee to which 1 to 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter and 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil was added. Today, many derivations of this drink exist.
Mesa Lavender Farms® MCT oil provides a quick energy source and the benefits mentioned above. The butter helps improve the consistency of the coffee, and provides some nutrients at the same time. This is a great pick-me-up for those wanting a quick energy boost.
Some coffee baristas will also add CBD oil to your coffee. While this sounds like a great idea due to benefits of CBD, keep in mind your body only utilizes about 6% of the CBD consumed in this way as compared to taking your CBD under the tongue.