MCT Oil Potential Health Benefits

Please note: Honest To Goodness Organic MCT Oil is prepared from organically grown coconuts with no chemicals, sweeteners or fillers added.


Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a supplement that has gained popularity in recent years, particularly among athletes and those following a ketogenic diet. MCT oil is derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, and it is composed of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are fats that have between 6 and 12 carbon atoms.


Coconut oil is the most popular source, comprising approximately 55% of MCFAs by weight. Palm kernel oil also has a high concentration of MCFAs but is less commonly used due to environmental concerns related to palm oil cultivation. The process of extracting MCT oil involves fractionation, which separates the MCTs from the longer-chain fatty acids present in these oils.


MCT oil has been associated with several health benefits. One of the most well-documented benefits is its ability to provide a quick source of energy. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCFAs are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and transported to the liver, where they can be used as an immediate energy source or converted into ketones. Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down large amounts of fat, and they can be used by the brain for energy in place of glucose (Clegg, 2010).


MCT oil has also been linked to weight loss and improved metabolic health. A study by St-Onge and Jones (2003) found that consumption of MCT oil could increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation in overweight men, suggesting potential benefits for weight management. Furthermore, MCTs may help to regulate blood sugar levels by enhancing the body's insulin sensitivity (Han, Hamilton, & D'Angelo, 2007).


Beyond its use as a dietary supplement, MCT oil is also used in medical nutrition therapy. For example, it is incorporated into the diet of individuals with malabsorption disorders or certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, to provide an alternative energy source for the brain (Cunnane et al., 2016).


MCT oil does not affect total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol levels, but does cause a small increase in triglycerides. (McKenzie et al., 2021)


To promote ketone metabolism, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and a ketogenic diet has been proposed by Takeishi and Taki (2021) as an alternative source of energy in the brain of alzheimer’s disease patients.


MCT oil is a versatile supplement with a range of applications, from enhancing athletic performance to supporting those with certain medical conditions. Its benefits include quick energy provision, potential weight management support, and improved metabolic health. As with any dietary supplement, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating MCT oil into one's diet.


It is recommended that individuals build up their dose of MCT oil slowly over a few weeks and consume as part of a healthy diet.


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Clegg, M. E. (2010). Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 61 (7), 653-679.


Cunnane, S. C., Courchesne-Loyer, A., St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., Croteau, E., & Castellano, C. A. (2016). Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367(1), 12-20.


Han, J. R., Hamilton, J. A., & D'Angelo, S. (2007). Medium-chain oil reduces fat mass and down-regulates expression of adipogenic genes in rats. Obesity Research, 15


McKenzie KM, Lee CM, Mijatovic J, Haghighi MM, Skilton MR. Medium-Chain Triglyceride Oil and Blood Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials. J Nutr. 2021 Oct 1;151(10):2949-2956.


St-Onge MP, Lamarche B, Mauger JF, Jones PJ. Consumption of a functional oil rich in phytosterols and medium-chain triglyceride oil improves plasma lipid profiles in men. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1815-20.


Takeishi J, Tatewaki Y, Nakase T, Takano Y, Tomita N, Yamamoto S, Mutoh T, Taki Y. Alzheimer's Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Use of MCT Oil and a Ketogenic Diet. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 15;22(22):12310