From Dr. Mercola:
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have become increasingly popular as people are learning more about the health benefits of nutritional ketosis, which is achieved by replacing net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) with high amounts of healthy fats and moderate amounts of high quality protein.
Some of the health benefits of coconut oil relate to the MCTs in the oil. But MCT oil is a more concentrated source, so it tends to be more appropriate for clinical uses, which include:1
- Appetite reduction and weight loss2,3
- Improved cognitive and neurological function with possible implications in neurodegerative diseases
- Increased energy levels and improved athletic performance
- Improved mitochondrial function and subsequent reduced risk for diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and epilepsy4
- As part of a specialized dietary therapy for the treatment of epilepsy
- Prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)5
Short-, Medium- and Long-Chain Triglycerides
The disastrous “low-fat diet” dogma of the last half century has led to a devastating drop in most people’s intake of healthy saturated fats, including MCTs, as most people have bought into the erroneous assumption that saturated fats are unhealthy and will raise their risk of heart disease.
Besides coconuts, coconut oil and palm kernel oil, small amounts of MCT can be found in butter and other high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows and goats.
Be sure not to confuse the extremely unhealthy industrial versions of coconut and palm oils (which are historically used as hydrogenated oils in industrial baked goods) with organic, virgin and unrefined oils available as “health foods.”
MCTs get their name from their chemical structure. Fats consist of chains of carbon molecules connected to hydrogen atoms. Short-chain fats have six carbons or …