Medium Chain Triglycerides
MCT Oil has recently become very popular amongst athletes and people wanting to lose weight, however, it has been studied and used in the medical field since the 1950’s. MCT oil is a fat and one of four ‘Functional Lipids’ – the others being waxes, phospholipids, and steroids/hormones. Researchers have found many health and cellular benefits for each of these lipids.
What are medium chain triglycerides (MCT)? They are a man-made fat consisting of carbon molecules, called triglycerides, linked together to form a chain. The length and composition of these triglycerides determines the class of fatty acid they fall into. Fats and lipids are broken down into 3 main classes –
Saturated fatty acids - made up of under 6 carbon molecules linked together to form a chain eg. Butyric acid (C4)
Medium chain fatty acids - made up of chains between 6 and 12 carbons long eg caproic acid (C6) and caprylic acid (C8)
Long chain fatty acids – made up of chains containing 12-20 carbon molecules eg olive oil (C17)
Due to MCT being a shorter molecule, they are easier to digest and have been used as an alternative food source for the sick, elderly or those that cannot digest fats or oils effectively.
MCT oil can be found naturally in coconuts, palm oil, and dairy milk products. Coconut is the preferred source to extract these MCTs as over 50% of the fats contained in coconut are between 6 and 12 carbons long.
There are 4 types of MCTs found in coconuts – C6, C8, C10 and C12. Of these four, the most research and studied are caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). Given the shortness of these fatty acids, they are broken down and absorb very quickly and go straight to the liver where they are converted to ketones and are not stored as fat. MCT oil also contains 10% less calories than long chain fatty acids making it the better fat choice in those wanting to lose weight.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
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