One of hottest health supplements on the market is MCT oil. It is often used in salad dressing, added to smoothies or ingested directly. Experts say this medium-chain triglyceride oil offers a myriad benefits ranging from weight loss to improving cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.
Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine and a 10-time No.1 best-selling New York Times author, says MCT is a type of fatty acid that is derived from coconut oil. He calls MCT a super fuel for your cells, because it burns fat and increases mental clarity.
“For many of patients, MCT becomes the little nudge to help you drop those last 10 to 15 stubborn pounds that just won’t go away,” he says.
In a 2013 study at McGill University published in the “Journal of Obesity and Research,” researchers found men who ate coconut oil lost more body fat than a second group who ate a diet rich in long-chain triglycerides found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados.
Hyman says MCT also has potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that support your immune system.
“They also provide anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and even anti-viral benefits,” he says. “I personally use MCT oil every single day. I use it every morning to speed up my metabolism and keep my mind sharp and focused. It also keeps me full and satisfied longer so it prevents me from food emergences and snacking.”
According to Healthline, here are some other benefits of MCT oil:
- Besides boosting your metabolism, MCT oil has been shown to significantly reduce waist circumference and help prevent obesity. If you are following a ketogenic diet, MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning zone known as ketosis. Research has found the oil helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut which could also help you lose weight.
- MCT can increase energy to the brain. Because medium-chain fatty acids do not have to be broken down like long-chain fats, they can travel straight to the cells to be used as an immediate source of energy so you feel an almost instant surge of mental focus.
- Studies have shown MCT oil along with a ketogenic diet may help manage conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and autism. Healthline explains when the ketogenic diet was first induced, it was meant to be a treatment for epilepsy to help reduce the frequency of seizures. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty using sugar as an energy source. An MCT ketogenic diet offers ketones as an alternative source of energy which allows the brain to function better. Apparently, it also blocks a receptor in the brain that causes memory loss according to an article published in “The Lancet Neurology,” in January, 2018. One pilot study reported by the National Institutes of Health found adding MCT oil to a ketogenic and gluten-free diet improved the behavior of autistic children.
- For those suffering from diabetes, MCT oil might help control blood sugar levels to support diabetes management. It also helps manage the condition by reducing fat storage and increasing the fat burning process which, in turn, helps those with diabetes lose weight. Because most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, this is an excellent two-pronged approach to treatment.
- Athletes should use MCT oil as a healthy post-workout food. Dr. Robert Silverman, DO, tells Newsmax. “It is one of the fastest sources of clean fuel to replenish body and brain.”
Hyman, in his new book, “Eat Fat, Get Thin,” offers dozens of recipes and ideas for using MCT oil including stirring it in coffee and as a base for marinades.