First canola oil was the household go-to and then everybody jumped ship to olive oil. Coconut oil came to town and started a revolution – and a few had flirtations with palm oil. Grape seed oil showed up somewhere in there – and now… now there’s what? A new oil? Great.
The ‘MCT’ in MCT oil stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a fat found in the blood and in balanced amounts are good for us, providing the body with energy and facilitating a whole host of important processes.
Often a derivative of coconut oil, these medium (versus long) chain triglycerides are not stored in the body as fat (in fact they act more like carbohydrates) and are immediately diverted to the liver for high-energy fuel.
The statement “not stored as fat” is enough to make most people trip over themselves to get a bottle. Aside from being a tool that body builders, marathon runners and other high-intensity athletes have used for years, it’s also believed to be useful in treatment of a wide range of diseases and – wait for it – weight loss.
MCT oil supposedly regulates the thyroid hormone, controls appetite and provides energy.
If you plan to give it a go – make sure to start slow. Too much could give you stomach cramping or diarrhea. Add a little into smoothies or swap it for another oil you’d usually reach for.
But first! Let’s hear from our experts.
Preet Marwaha: “Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) have numerous health benefits, are easily digested and provide a good source of energy for the body. The best source of MCTs is a high quality coconut oil, which provides additional nutrients such as lauric acid. There is no advantage to purchasing expensive MCT oils over high quality coconut oils."
Dr. Adam Gratton: “There’s a lot of conflicting evidence around the idea that MCT oil can help with weight loss. I wouldn’t recommend someone purposefully supplement with MCT oil unless advised by their doctor. However, using oils higher in MCT content (like coconut oil) over more traditional oils (like vegetable oil) may provide some benefit and even weight loss over time, when part of a healthy diet and exercise regime.”
If you’re feeling science-y, feel free to review the studies and report back! Here’s a couple to get you started on your search: