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MCT Oil: It’s all the rage!

The Impact of MCT oil

If you haven’t heard the hype about MCT oil by now, I’m glad you’re reading this post. There’s good reason it’s all the rage in health-conscious circles—the benefits are myriad.

So what is MCT oil?

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). All fats are made up of carbon and hydrogen, but they vary in length. Short chain fatty acids have 5 or few carbons, medium chains have 6 to 12, and long chain have more than 12.

The 4 MCFA’s

Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), sometimes called medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are fatty acids of a certain length, as the name suggests.

  • Caproic acid, also called hexaonic acid (C6: six carbons)
  • Caprylic Acid, also called Octanoic acid (C8: 8 carbons)
  • Capric Acid, also called Dacanoic acid (C10: 10 carbons)
  • Lauric Acid, also called Dodecanoic acid (C12: 12 carbons)

MCT oil can be a mixture of one or more of these MCFAs and is typically extracted from coconut or palm oil, which are both rich natural sources.

The thing is, MCFAs are largely missing from Western diets. And it makes sense, considering they’re a type of saturated fat, and we’ve been told for years that all saturated fats are harmful to our health. So, while you can get them from things like human breastmilk, goats milk, cheese, butter, and other types of dairy, to get the full range of benefits, you’ll need to incorporate some MCT oil into your daily diet.

5 Benefits of MCT oil

The unique structure of medium-chain fatty acids make them beneficial in several ways:

  1. Easily digestible. Unlike long chain fats, MCTs don’t need bile salts to be digested and can pass directly from the digestive system to the blood stream without being modified by digestion. Because they are so easy to absorb and use, MCTs are often a good choice for those who struggle with digestive problems, fat absorption or lack a gallbladder.
  2. Good Source of Energy. Because MCTs are absorbed quickly, they provide fast and sustained energy. Unlike almost all other foods (most of which contain long chain fats), MCTs do not require energy to be absorbed, stored, or used in the body—they’re an incredible source of natural energy.
  3. Support Hormones. Fats are crucial to proper hormone creation and balance. MCTs may offer special benefits for those struggling with hormone imbalance. Research suggests that medium chain fats may be beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight by helping balance hormones.
  4. Gut Health. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of MCTs help balance gut bacteria and fight pathogenic bacteria. Plus, since they’re so easy on the body, they give the digestive system a much-needed res When incorporated into a healthy diet, MCTs can help improve gut health.
  5. Immune Health. The same antiviral and antibacterial properties that work to balance the bacteria in the gut, make MCTs beneficial for immunity as well. Healthy fats are important for proper immune function, and since MCTs can be more easily used by the body, this may be especially beneficial for those having trouble absorbing fats and struggling with immune function.

Who should NOT take MCT Oil?

While MCT oil is thought to be safe for most people, it should be introduced slowly to eliminate any digestive upset. And, it should be avoided entirely if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Breastfeeding or pregnant. There simply isn’t enough research on the effects of MCT oil on breastfed children. And, evidence suggests that when used in pregnancy, MCT oil may result in the depletion of essential fatty acids in the unborn baby. To be on the safe side, avoid this supplement if you’re nursing or pregnant.
  • Diabetes. For diabetics (especially Type-1) MCT oil may make ketones build up throughout the body. This is a result of cells burning fat instead of glucose for energy. This can lead to a potentially fatal condition called ketoacidosis—which poisons the body.
  • Liver problems. Shorter chain MCTs are thought to bypass the liver, but longer chain MCFAs (i.e., C12 lauric acid) may cause liver problems. Consult a physician before using MCT oil if you have any preexisting liver disease or liver problems.

MCT can be a powerful supplement for overall wellbeing and optimum health. As with any supplement, it’s best to do your research, and decide if it’s best for your particular needs.

Our Fave way to down the MCT oil:

Bullet Proof Coffee Baby!

  • 1 TBSP MCT oil
  • 1 TBSP Grass Fed butter or Ghee
  • 1 cup of black coffee
  • Blend in a blender until frothy
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon

Interested in learning about other supplements? Check out Urban Wellness Clinic—we’re happy to guide you toward incorporating healthy elements into your daily routine. Give us a call with your questions 212-355-0445 or shoot us an email at

Best in Health xo

Dr Emily Kiberd