Medium chain triglycerides or MCT are the saturated fatty acids with the glycerol as a base component along with three fatty acids. The most common fatty acids found in MCT are
1 Caprioic acid
2 Caprylic acid
3 Capric acid
4 Lauric acid
What make these fatty acids so special-
Generally all the fats are categorized into three types
Short chain fatty acids
Medium chain fatty acids-
Long chain fatty acids.
MCT’s are digested and absorbed easily than LCT’s. Though coconut oil is also a source of MCT contains 60-65% of MCT.
MCT oil is man made oil , made from the process of extracting MCT from the natural sources like coconut and palm kernel. The fact is that coconut is rich in lauric acid. It contains 50% of lauric acid.
But most of these lack lauric acid. But is abundant in capric and caprylic acid.
MCT Oil as a source of energy- Due to medium chain they are easily metabolized and quickly used as a source of fuel in the body.
They are easily absorbed due to the fact that they do not require carnitine as a carrier and hence they can enter inside the mitochondrial membrane without it too.
Provides energy during immediate requirement like in major surgeries, sports requirements, slow growth, high intensity workout.
Improves mental performance, ability to think clearly - It produces ketones, and ketones and glucose are the energy sources for brain.
Helps in weight loss- As per few studies , MCT oil has shown thermogenic effect so it increases metabolism in the body and is not stored in the body as fat.
It has hypoglycemic effects also, and is found to maintain blood sugar levels.
Increases immune functions- It is gut friendly fat, fights against harmful bacteria,viruses in the system. It has been found to be useful in autoimmune diseases.
Used in medical problems - due to it’s ability to get absorbed easily in the system as it does not require any hydrolysis ,it is required in patients of malabsorption, digestive disturbances, Crohn’s diesease, post surgery, short bowel syndrome,Epilepsy etc.
Used in parenteral formula’s post surgery and milk formula’s for pre mature infants
Food sources that contain MCT
Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel oil,Cheese, milk n products
Use in Various ways of MCT Oil
Home made Mayonnaise, peanut butter,Salad Dressing,Cooking/ Baking
Nutritional Value -1 tbsp serving of a MCT oil contains 100 calories with 14 gm of fat.