Is MCT Oil effective for weight loss or its a hype?

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Is MCT Oil effective for weight loss or its a hype?

 

Before discussing MCT Oil role in weight loss, let's know what is MCT Oil? 

As the name suggests,  (MCT) or Medium-Chain Triglycerideoil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are more easily digested than longer-chain fatty acids found in many other foods.

In simple words,  Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in certain oils and dairy products. MCT oil is a supplement made of these fats.

MCT oil is a dietary supplement that is made up of MCT fats, which are fats that can be found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products.

MCT oil is mainly used by people looking to lose weight, or boost their endurance during a workout.

Some supporters of MCT oil also claim it can improve the ability to think, as well as help with various forms of dementia.

Fats are made up of chains of carbon atoms, and most of the fats in a person’s diet are made up of 13 to 21 of these atoms. These are called long-chain fatty acids.

In contrast, short-chain fatty acids are made up of 6 or fewer carbon atoms.

MCTs refers to medium-chain triglycerides that sit in the middle of the other two types. They are of medium length and made up of 6 to 12 carbon atoms.

MCTs are found in coconut oil and are processed by the body in a different way to long-chain fatty acids. Unlike other fats, they go straight from the gut to the liver. From here, they are used as a source of energy or turned into ketones.

Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down a lot of fat, and they can be used by the brain for energy instead of glucose or sugar.

As the calories in MCTs are used straightaway, they are less likely to be stored as fat. This principle is the basis of the ketogenic diet, which many people believe is an effective way to lose weight.

 

Does MCT oil promote weight loss? 

"MCT oil could potentially promote weight loss".

Current research is mixed on this issue, but there are some potential reasons why MCT oil may be beneficial for weight loss.

 

MCT oil has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that can promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin (2Trusted Source).

Study 1- 

One study found that people taking 2 tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil.

The same study also found a lower rise in triglycerides and glucose with MCT oil, which may also influence the feeling of fullness.

Older study- 

Some older studies showed that taking MCT oil could help reduce body weight and waist circumference. Researchers reported that it could help prevent obesity.

Note that these studies don’t take other factors into account, such as activity levels and other calorie consumption. More research is needed.

 

Facts in favour of MCT FOT WEIGHT LOSS

Fact 1- 

MCT oil has about 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados.

 

Fact 2-

MCTs can also be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when carbohydrate intake is low.

 

If you’re following a ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs yet high in fat, taking MCT oil could possibly help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis.

 

Fact 3- 

Your gut environment is very important when it comes to your weight. MCT oil may help optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining, which could also help you lose weight.

 

Other benefits of MCT Oil:

1.  Better brain and memory function. Mct oil

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation have reported the pros and cons of MCTs in respect of brain and memory function, as well as their potential benefits for those with Alzheimer’s disease.
But to what extent are the claims surrounding MCTs backed up by scientific evidence?
A 2016 review notes that in three studies, the brain’s take-up of ketones in people with Alzheimer’s was the same as in healthy people. In contrast, the brain’s take-up of glucose was poorer in those with Alzheimer’s than healthy people.
The reviewers also note that ketosis has a slight beneficial effect on thinking ability for those with Alzheimer’s. Ketosis is when the brain uses ketones for energy instead of glucose.
More research is needed to say with certainty that MCTs or MCT oil can improve brain and memory function. That said, initial research is promising, and there is growing interest in the use of MCTs in this area.

2. Energy boost and increased endurance.

MCT oil may help to improve endurance, and provide energy for intense exercise.
Supporters of MCT oil claim that it can help boost a person’s energy and improve their endurance when they are working out.
A 2009 study found that consuming food rich in MCTs, rather than longer-chain fats, improved the time that recreational athletes could endure high-intensity exercise.
This evidence is encouraging but too limited to conclude for certain that MCTs or MCT oil can improve exercise endurance, as one 2010 study notes.

3.  Lowered cholesterol.

MCTs may also have a part to play in helping to protect heart health by lowering cholesterol.
A 2009 study that looked at 40 women found that consuming coconut oil reduced bad types of cholesterol and improved good ones. The comparison was to soybean oil and taken alongside a calorie-controlled diet.
As MCT oil is high in the MCTs found in coconut oil, it is also likely to improve cholesterol levels. However, as the study did not look at MCT oil specifically, this cannot be said with certainty.
5. Lowered blood sugar levels
MCTs may also help to improve blood sugar levels and play a potential role in diabetes management.
A 2007 study found MCT improved diabetes risk factors, including insulin resistance, in a small group of participants with type 2 diabetes.

Risks of taking MCT oil? 

MCTs from dietary sources and MCT oil may have some health benefits. However, it is important to remember that when a person consumes these, they are consuming fats.

1. Taking MCT oil adds extra fats and calories to a person’s diet. As such, excessive use of MCT oil may not be beneficial and could lead a person to gain weight.

2. MCT oil supplements are created from versions of food oils, and so are not considered a natural product.

3. MCT oil has a low smoke point, so it is not suitable for cooking. However, solid coconut oil, which is high in MCTs, can be used in cooking and may be used to replace olive oil or other cooking oils.

4. MCT may stimulate the release of hunger hormones

While MCTs may increase the release of hormones that help you feel fuller longer, they may also stimulate the release of hunger hormones in some people.

A study involving people with anorexia found that MCTs increased the release of two hormones that stimulate appetite: ghrelin and neuropeptide Y.

 

People who took more than 6 grams of MCTs per day produced more of these hormones than those who had less than 1 gram per day.

 

However, it’s unclear whether the increase in these hormones actually causes you to eat more.

 

5. High doses could lead to fat buildup in the liver

High doses of MCT oil may increase the amount of fat in your liver in the long term.

 

In short:

MCTs are high in calories and usually only make up about 5–10% of your total calorie intake. If you’re trying to maintain or lose weight, you should consume MCT oil as part of your total amount of fat intake and not as an additional amount of fat.


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