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.

Benefits: Image

  • 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

photo(2)I’ve opted to use coconut oil for a lot of my cooking nowadays.  I made stir fried lettuce tonight and used coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil that the recipe called for.

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.


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