By: Nikki Nies
During my medical nutrition therapy, there were several incidences where MCT oil was recommended as a mode of nutrition therapy for clients. It’s taken me a while, but I”m finally learning what MCT Oil actually means.
Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oils are easily digested fats, such as coconut oil, palm oil and/or found in dairy products. Medium chain TG range from 6-10 carbons strung together, while long chain TG have 12-18 carbons in length. MCT are delivered directly to the liver to be used as energy, unlike other fats that must be broken down in the intestines and converted into a digestive form and then used for energy.
- Easily hydrolyzed
- A great alternative for those that can’t digest or absorb conventional fats
- Does not require bile salts for emulsification as they don’t circulate directly into portal circulation
- Appropriate for those on lactose free, gluten free or kosher diet
- Versatile use–in salads, cooking and/or nutritional supplement
- Provides instant and sustained energy
- Boost metabolism
- Maintain optimal weight
- Helps to boost production of thyroid hormones
- Can help treat seizures as it can increase ketone production
- Can help diabetes maintain blood glucose levels
- Maintains muscle strength and stamina
- Great for those with digestive disorders–i.e. IBS
- Can help treat diarrhea or constipation
- Sometimes used as a fat in total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
- Used to treat cirrhosis, cystic fibrosis, AIDS, gallbladder disease and/or Alzheimer’s disease
- Given to critically ill patients to prevent muscle breakdown
If you’re considering incorporating into your daily routine, gradual introduction is advised. It’s recommended to start with ½ tablespoon a day and slowly build up to one tablespoon in the morning and one tablespoon ½ hour prior to working out.