MCT Oil Review & Benefit Guide

mct coconut oil on beach by the ocean

Unless you’ve been living under a coconut for the last few years, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been hearing a lot about MCT Oil lately.

Riding the coattails of the intermittent fasting and paleo craze, MCT has become a popular supplement in the health food space.

With everyone from Joe Rogan to Dave Asprey touting the benefits of MCT, what exactly is it and is it something you want to put into your body?

Let’s take a deep dive, and see if we can get to the bottom of the medium chain triglyceride craze, and hopefully find out if it’s a bandwagon worth jumping on.

What are Medium Chain Triglycerides?

onnit makes our favorite mct oil

According to the fine folks over at WebMD, medium chain triglycerides, aka MCT, “partially man-made fats.” They get their name from the way their carbon atoms are arranged, and they’re a type of saturated fatty acid that has been proven to have a bunch of different health benefits. Yawn.

I don’t really want to get overly scientific here, so if you’re looking for some really dry literature regarding MCTs, check out that WebMD article I mentioned, or there are some pretty

Yawn. I don’t really want to get overly scientific here, so if you’re looking for some really dry literature regarding MCTs, check out that WebMD article I mentioned, or there are some pretty boring .GOV and .EDU articles floating around out there as well, if you’re into that sort of thing.

For our purposes, here’s how we can define medium chain triglycerides: It’s oil that comes from coconuts, is usually made in a lab, and is considered by many to be a “healthy fat.”

In some cases, MCT has even been used as a medicine to treat a whole host of conditions, including the dreaded diarrhea, celiac and liver disease, and digestion problems that coincide to surgery of the stomach or intestine.

There has even been some evidence that diets rich in these healthy fats help to reduce, or even eliminate, seizures in people with epilepsy and other conditions.

What Else is MCT Used For?

While it sounds like there are plenty of bonafide medicinal uses for MCT Oil, most people are just looking to use it as a supplement of sorts. A lot of people get their MCTs from coconut oil, but now there is also a highly concentrated oil that is available from places like ONNIT, Bulletproof, and others. That said, here are just a few of things people use MCT for:

an athlete playing flag football runs back a kick return

A lot of people use MCT as a workout supplement.

  • Energy Booster
  • Cognitive Enhancer
  • Help with Maintaining a Healthy Weight
  • Reduce Body Fat
  • Mood Enhancer
  • Helps Balancing Hormone Levels
  • Helps with Nutrient Absorption 
  • Fights Infections and Viruses 

Why Does MCT Oil Work?

It is thought that MCT oils should be consumed every day for optimum health. Unfortunately, these types of healthy saturated fats aren’t easily found in our American-style western diet, as we’ve been taught for the past several decades that fats are bad.

We can debate why exactly that is in another post, but just know that many people are now saying that much of what we’ve been taught about low-fat diets over the last 30 or 40 years, is now considered by many experts to be outdated advice.

It turns out, that people in tropical climates have been eating the fats in MCT for thousands of year, without any ill effects. In fact, many health experts say that the saturated fats found in things like coconut, MCT oils, and grassfed beef are actually easier to digest that long-chain triglycerides, and can also help with brain and heart health, and prevent obesity.

Beyond just coconuts, MCTs can also be found in butter, whole milke, palm oil, and full-fat yogurt. Of course, most experts in this field are going to recommend buying beef, butter, and dairy that is from non-GMO, organic, and grassfed beef.

How Much Does MCT Oil Cost?

a coconut cut in half

The price of MCT can vary widely, depending on the quality and quanity of the product you choose to buy. Of course, you can find some pretty great deals on Amazon or Thrive Market, but I prefer to buy my MCT oil from Onnit Supplements. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t buy the oil from other places, I have just found that I like the Onnit version the best.

Average Price:

$15.65 for a 32 oz. Bottle at Thrive Market

$11.99 for a 16 oz. Bottle on Amazon

$15.00 for a 16 oz. Bottle at ONNIT

MCT Oil Side Effects

coconut oil is a good source of mct

WebMD lists MCTs as being safe for the majority of poeple when taken as directed. They most commonly used as a supplement, and come in a concentrated liquiud for or can be found in things like coconut oil as well. MCTs are also used to treat various medical conditions, in which case they would be administred by a medical professional via an IV.

In some cases, they can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach aches, gas, but they say taking the oil at meal time can help to eliminate some of these side effects.

It’s also very imporant to follow the labeling instructions for whichever product you by, as this will help prevent some of these side effects as well.

Because there isn’t enough research, MCT Oils should be avoide if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. They should also be avoided if you have diabetes as they can cause ketones to build up in your body, which can cause problems for diabetics.

They can also cause serious problems for people with liver disease, so you should not take them if you have cirrhosis or other issues with your liver.

As always, stay on the safe side, and talk with your doctor before stating any new supplement, diet, or workout.

Conclusion

Much of what we have been taught about fat over the last several decades is now considerred by man to be outdated. In fact, it may be what has lead to the obesity epidemic in America and other developed countries.

It turns out that healthy fats, like those found in MCT Oil, can actually help improve congnitive function, add energy, and maintain a healthy weight when combined with diet and exercise.

There are many places to buy MCT Oil, and you can always check with your local health food store too. The best deal that I have been able to find is at the Thrive Market, or Onnit has a great product as well – read our full review here.


Other Resources:

Dr Axe