MCT Oil (medium chain triglycerides) are digested and utilized differently than other fatty acids. Instead of being packaged into lipoproteins that circulate in the bloodstream, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the portal vein, and are then transported to the liver. Because they don’t need bile or pancreatic enzymes to break down, they are easier to digest. And because they are easier to digest, they provide your body with quick energy, like carbohydrates.
Another exciting fact about MCT oil is it provides cellular energy very quickly – without relying on glucose. This is particularly significant when the supply of glucose is compromised due to insulin resistance, a common health concern.
And there is good cause for concern. Insulin resistance is a growing health concern and predisposes many serious health problems. Between 1994 and 2002, a 23% growth rate brought the number to 6.8% of the total U.S. population.
But not all MCT oils are the same
Most MCT oils consist primarily of C-8, C-10, and C-12 carbon lengths. While these are good general purpose oils that will not store as fat, the ketone potential is limited. As mentioned earlier, MCT oil is rapidly converted to energy producing ketones or excreted. Most people can’t tolerate the multiple tablespoons of traditional MCT oil required to stimulate meaningful amounts of ketones. Stomach upset and diarrhea are the likely result. Only C-8 MCT oil supports an abundance of ketones with a dosage free of gastric side effects. With the lower dosage comes a lower calorie content and more effective stimulation of the fat to ketone energy cycle.
A recent study concluded C8 MCT was about three times more ketogenic than C10 and about six times more ketogenic than C12.
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