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MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, or medium-chain fatty acids. This is different from standard fats, which are known as long-chain triglycerides. MCT oil is a man-made product that is made by mixing coconut and palm oils in a laboratory. Many people take MCT oil as a supplement because of its purported health benefits. But is it worth you trying out? Here’s what the evidence shows:
MCT oil can help your body burn more energy, potentially helping you lose weight.
MCT oil is readily taken up by the liver, which burns it and uses it as an energy source. Because it is taken up and burned easier than standard long-chain fatty acids, this helps your body burn more overall, potentially leading to a reduction in obesity.
MCT oil can make you feel more full.
Studies in both animals and humans have shown that MCT oil fills people up faster, so they end up eating less overall. Since they become satisfied sooner, people who take MCT oil consume fewer calories, which may also result in weight loss.
MCT oil is great for people with certain digestive disorders.
If you have liver disease, celiac disease, have had prior bariatric surgery, or have some other absorption disorder, MCT oil may be what you need. MCT oil may be better absorbed and digested than other fats, so they help make sure your body is getting exactly what it needs.
MCT oil supports your cardiovascular system.
Studies have shown that MCT oil may help in raising your “good” cholesterol, lowering your “bad” cholesterol, and overall improving your lipid profiles. What does this mean for you? MCT oil may help protect against plaque buildup in your arteries, the cause of heart attacks, and other medical problems.
MCT oil may improve exercise endurance.
In one study, MCT oil was shown to ramp up cellular processes involving the mitochondria, the cell’s power stations. Through this mechanism, taking an MCT supplement may help you get through more powerful, longer workouts at the gym.
Before adding supplements to your diet or changing your diet in any way, especially if you have health issues, it is important to speak to a doctor.