7 Benefits of MCT Oil – And Why It’s The Ultimate Keto Supplement : MCT Oil, or medium-chain triglycerides to give them their full name, is a form of saturated fatty acid. This is why it is an important part of the Keto diet, because maintaining ketosis is all about making sure that your body is getting the right fats to use as energy. In this article, I’ll cover 7 key benefits of MCT Oil, to learn more see our full guide here.
MCT Oil is the ideal source of energy
MCT oil can be used as energy directly by the body – it requires no other enzymes to be absorbed and used by your body. This is incredibly useful for those on the keto diet, because this means that MCT Oil is a readily available source of ketones hat requires no processing by the body. So, consuming MCT Oil as part of a careful diet can help your body remain in ketosis permanently, meaning your body burns fat instead of glucose.
This is something fairly unique as, unlike most other foods, the energy available in MCT Oil is available to the body almost immediately – they are rapidly metabolized. This is great for maintaining ketosis.
MCT Oil has a lower propensity to being stored as body fat
As MCT is rapidly metabolized and easy for your body to use, the process of burning MCT Oil is incredibly efficient. This means that the fatty acids contained within it are likely to be used up, especially if you combine your keto diet with moderate exercise.
Because the body will make use of, and burn up, all the MCT oil in this way very little is left over to be converted and stored as body fat. So, compared to other energy sources and supplements, MCT Oil is more likely to be burned than stored.
MCT Oil has a thermogenic effect
When your body metabolizes MCT oil, it also burns calories. This is because the process has a thermogenic effect (also known as a specific dynamic action), meaning the body creates heat by using calories. This can be great for helping maintain calorie goals and weight control, as your body is using up some excess calories in the metabolizing process.
These effects can be further increased with exercise, so again MCT Oil is a particularly good supplement for those who are combining the keto diet and time at the gym.
This and the previous effect mean that MCT Oil can be useful for maintaining healthy weight loss – it can help you lose pounds, and also keep those pounds off. In fact, MCT Oil is a more effective fat than many others in this regard (see for example this study).
MCT Oil can Support a Healthy Gut
Perhaps a more surprising upshot of using MCT Oil is that gut health can be improved. This is because MCTs are natural antibiotics. While you may worry that this can impact on the good bacteria too, the great news is that MCTs only target certain strains of bad bacteria. In particular, MCTs have been found to kill harmful bacteria such as streptococcus, staphylococcus and neisseria.
This means that MCTs can help promote a well-balanced gut, something that has a wide range of positive health benefits, from better defence against illness to better mineral absorption.
MCT Oil can Help Improve Cognitive Abilities
Another really interesting positive effect of MCT Oil is the way in which it can help improve cognitive functions. This seems to happen in two ways.
First, MCT Oil helps to control blood sugar levels. Not only does this help regulate feelings of tiredness caused by blood sugar peaks and troughs, there are studies that show this also helps reduce inflammation and improve brain functioning.
Secondly, the ketones present in MCT Oil pass through the blood-brain barrier between the nervous and circulatory systems. This means that ketones are a key source of fuel for the brain, so MCT Oil is helping to directly provide this fuel. This was demonstrated in a recent study that linked MCT supplements and higher ketones in the blood with improved memory.
MCT Oil can Play a Role in the Treatment and Avoidance of Diabetes
Two studies, one in the journal Diabetes and the other in the journal Metabolism, have argued that MCT Oils can help improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin helps control blood sugar levels, and the body’s sensitivity to insulin is a key factor in both preventing and treating diabetes. If MCT Oils improve insulin sensitivity, then it would seem that they could help in both preventing the onset of diabetes and also the management of blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
MCT Oil is Great Fuel for Exercise
As I have mentioned above, MCT Oil is rapidly absorbed by the body, so is available as energy soon after being consumed. Also, MCT Oil is energy rich, with a concentrated and high density of available energy in a relatively small supplement. This makes it the perfect fuel for athletes, because it provides plentiful and readily available energy.
This is still very much an active area of research, but with more athletes are switching to a low-carb high-fat diet, this is certainly an area of interest for fitness instructors and coaches.
Sarah is the Content Director at Perfect Keto, with a mission to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health and well-being
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