Athletes claim it gives them more energy, others such as Lean Bodies author Cliff Sheats recommends it to lose weight.
Both suggest it is because it gives the body’s metabolism a boost.
How does it do this? MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride. Much of the food we eat containing fat is in the form of LCT or long chain triglycerides.
The main reason why MCT oil is thought to give such a quick energy boost is because it bypasses the usual digestive mechanisms that foods normally go through. It provides a source of fast energy for the body which is less likely to become stored as fat cells. Concurrently there is a significant increase in the number of calories burned.
Cliff Sheats believes that MCT oil behaves like a carbohydrate – which is the body’s preferred fuel source.
Also unlike other fats it does not have to be metabolized by the lymphatic system. This is a vitally
important part of the mechanism whereby waste products are dealt with – again suggesting that little residue is left after being “burnt” for fuel.
The atomic structure of MCT oil gives a clue as to its efficacy compared to other oils. LCT oils have a “carbon atoms length” similar to body fat. Whereas MCT oils have only a 6-12 “carbon atoms length” and thus it behaves differently from other oils.
MCT is obtained from coconut and palm kernels and it is then minimally processed to obtain the oil as the product MCT oil on its own does not exist in Nature. It can be found in small amounts in full –fat cheese, yogurt, butter [particularly from grass-fed cows]and milk.
Finally this oil has the ability to cause considerable gastro-intestinal distress so should be used with caution. It is also not advisable to cook with it.