MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, the primary type of fatty acid naturally occurring in coconut oil. MCT Oil is also made in the laboratory from the processing of coconut and palm kernel oils. MCTs are made up of capric and caprylic fatty acids, with their carbon atoms arranged in medium chains as opposed to long chain triglycerides found in dietary fats. The chemical structure of MCT oil is what makes them beneficial to weight loss, brain functions, athletic performance, and digestive health.
Medium Chain Triglycerides exhibit unique activities in the body because of their smaller size compared to dietary fats. Unlike long chain triglycerides in dietary fats, MCT oil bypass the digestion process and are easily absorbed in the bloodstream. They are also readily available for conversion to energy so they are not stored in the body as adipose tissue or fats. Additionally, experts say that a diet rich in MCT oil helps burn calories because of its superb thermogenic properties. Burning of calories reduces the body’s fat deposits because it prevents fat storage in the arms, legs, belly, and other areas of the body.
Another explanation on the benefits of MCT Oil is that instead of acting like a fat, it behaves like a carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of fuel for energy. Just like carbohydrates, MCT bypass the lymphatic system and goes directly to the liver where metabolism takes place and MCT oil is converted to energy. During the metabolism, ketone bodies are produced to be used for energy production. The energy produced can now sustain the muscles during strenuous exercises during trainings and bodybuilding.
MCT Oil can help in improving brain functions in older adults experiencing memory lapses. In one study, a single dose of MCT Oil has been shown to provide an almost immediate improvement in cognitive performance of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease. Although it may sound almost impossible, there is actually an explanation for it. The secret lies within the unique configuration of Medium Chain Triglycerides and the brain’s metabolic needs. Since glucose is the primary source of energy from the brain, insulin resistance and reduced metabolism in the brain compromise important brain functions like memory, thinking, and concentration. Ketone bodies produced from MCT Oil after metabolism provides an alternative source of energy for improved brain functions.
For digestive health, MCT Oil is used with prescription medications to improve digestion in people suffering from diarrhea, celiac disease, steatorrhea, liver disease, and digestive problems due to gastrectomy or the surgical removal of the stomach.
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