It seems to be all the rage right now. Using healthy fats to live a healthier lifestyle. Athletes say it creates energy, strength and focus. So what is MCT Oil and why should you consider it.
I recently decided to lose weight. Not for vanity but for functionality. When you walk up the steps and need to take a break, its time to make some life choices.
Like most people I decided to start working out and eating better. Eating better is such a confusing topic these days. Do I eat carbs? Do I eat fat? Do I eat protein? Do I eat anything I want, just in less massive piles? For me I decided to cut my carb intake based on times that I was working out. Mostly protein during the day in appropriate portions and I would eat carbs after work outs to restore my glycogen levels.
Only a few days into my new healthy lifestyle I started having suicidal thoughts. When you drastically cut fats, carbs and total calories your body is going to suffer especially if you are now working out. I could not function at work and my work outs started suffering. My trainer mentioned several times that I needed to consume more fat. That seems counter intuitive right? Why would I eat fat when I am trying to get rid of it at the same time. “Because its a fuel source if you are getting the right fat”, he said to me.
Reluctantly I gave into his recommendation and bought some MCT oil, by Bulletproof and started incorporating it into my diet. The results were amazing. There is a video at the end describing my results which were nothing short of amazing. Here are some of the benefits of MCT oil listed on Bulletproofs site.
Try Upgraded™ XCT Oil and get upgraded energy levels immediately, or your purchase is on us.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) work directly in cells to give you an extra boost to maximize your performance. Very little MCT oil is stored as fat because it is used for energy so quickly!
Tired of constantly craving caffeine? Want a thermogenic immune boost with your energy?
Say goodbye to coconut oil and hello to energy 6x stronger. Upgraded XCT Oil benefits:
I have not way of knowing if it boosted my immune system, helped with nutrient absorption or made my membranes stronger, whatever those are. I cant tell you my energy was through the roof and my work outs were super charged! I felt like I was 20 years old.
So what is this stuff. Again enter Bullet Proff – Upgraded XCT oil is extracted from palm and coconut oil in a time consuming process, making it the most potent XCT on the market. No metal catalysts are used in the manufacturing process, and every batch of our XCT is tested for heavy metals. Upgraded XCT is 100% pure and has a perfect 8-10 carbon saturated fat level.
Upgraded XCT oil is suitable to cook at temperatures under 320o F. It does not trigger allergies to the following foods: celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, milk or its derivatives, mollusks, mustard, peanuts (including peanut oil), sesame seed or its derivatives, soybean or its derivatives, Sulfur Dioxide, tree nuts, wheat or its derivatives, and more. It is highly, highly purified.
Upgraded XCT Oil is a supplemental oil that acts as a substitute for some of the usual oil in your diet. It should not be used to replace all of the fat in your diet.
Begin using XCT 1 tablespoon per day and slowly increase over several days. Too much XCT, especially if consumed on an empty stomach, may result in diarrhea or a stomachache. 1-3 tablespoons per day is recommended for Bulletproof practitioners.
The best way to maximize energy is to use Upgraded XCT Oil in your Bulletproof Coffee. Mix your XCT oil with grass-fed butter and combine it with Bulletproof Coffee to gain hours of energy and lose inches off your waistline! It may also be used in smoothies, salad dressings, and many recipes.
In his best selling book Lean Bodies, Cliff Sheats recommends taking it to lose weight. Makers of supplements sell it, boasting it is one of the most effective fat burners on the market. Athletes swear that it gives them more energy. So what is this magic elixir that so many claim can boost your metabolism and turn your body into a mean, lean, fat burning machine? It is MCT oil.
I like to use my MCT oil in protein shakes and my coffee. If you include cinnamon in your coffee you are really burning fat! See our article on burning fat with cinnamon.
So lets break down the science.
MCT simply stands for medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to long chain triglycerides (LCT), which are found in most foods. MCT is comprised of primarily caprylic and capric fatty acids, and is a light-yellow, odorless, translucent liquid at room temperature. MCT oil occurs naturally in coconut oil and other foods. Supplementation with MCT oil began as a fat source to help treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis,obesity, and fat malabsorption. It has also been used to add calories to infant, and certain other formulas. Recently, athletes, bodybuilders, and diet gurus have jumped on the MCT bandwagon, embracing its fat burning and energy sustaining powers. So why are so many claiming this oil is the fuel needed to help burn unwanted body fat?
According to Dr. Laurie Cullen at the Women’s Institute, when MCTs are absorbed into the blood stream, they bypass the digestion process that longer chain fats go through. MCT’s provide quick energy for the body and are thus less likely to be stored in the fat cells. Further, Dr. Cullen says that when a meal includes medium chain triglycerides, there is a significant increase in the number of calories burned (thermogenic effect). When more calories are used, fewer are stored as fat, which helps to reduce body fat levels.
Many ketogenic diet and MCT oil spokespeople say that MCT’s energy sustaining powers can be explained as follows: when MCT oil is metabolized in the body, it behaves more like a carbohydrate than a fat. Remember that the fuel of preference for the body is carbohydrate. Unlike other fats, MCT oil does not go through the lymphatic system. Instead, it is transported directly to the liver where it is metabolized so it releases energy like a carbohydrate and creates lots of ketones (which can be used for fuel) in the process.
Cliff Sheats, author of the best selling diet book Lean Bodies, unlocks the mystery behind the calorie combustion properties of MCT oil by explaining how fats are metabolized in the body. According to Sheats, conventional dietary fats found in foods (LCTs), are about 16-22 carbon atoms in length. This is the same type of fat stored on your body. MCTs are only 6-12 carbon atoms long. This difference in molecular structure is the reason why MCT oil behaves differently in the body than do conventional fats.
Sheats breaks it down even further explaining since our bodies are 70% water (fat is not very soluble in water), your body has to go through an elaborate digestive process in order to absorb and metabolize fats. The gall bladder produces bile to help dissolve the LCTs generating little fat droplets called micelles. Cells in the intestines make protein carrier molecules to help transport the triglycerides. These fat-protein complexes are called chylomicrons and are released from the intestines into the lymphatic system. The chylomicrons eventually reach the bloodstream through the thoracic duct. Once in the bloodstream, the fats are circulated throughout the body. Insulin causes fat cells (adipocytes) to absorb the fat molecules and store them as body fat.
MCT has a smaller molecular structure and is more soluble in water. Therefore, it is easier for your body to absorb and does not require this complicated digestive process. Whereas conventional fats are prone to being stored as body fat, MCT is transported directly from the small intestine to the liver by the portal vein. In the liver, some of the MCTs are turned into ketone bodies, which the muscles can use for energy. Some MCT’s are used for thermogenesis, and a portion is converted to ATP, the energy currency of the cell. MCT, therefore is processed in the liver, so there is little left to be stored as fat.
However, not everyone is totally convinced of the fat burning powers of MCT oil. Dr. Michael Darnley states that the fat burning properties of MCT oil have been proven effective only in animals. Darnley states that when MCT oil is substituted for LCT’s in animals, they gain less weight, store less adipose, and experience an increase in metabolic rate, but there has been less research into how this works on human subjects. According to Darnely, the amount of fat consumed by animals to create a performance effect is far more than the average human consumption of fat.
There are also potential health risks to taking MCT oil as expressed by many healthcare officials. UT Southwestern Researchers have found that MCT oil does raise cholesterol levels like palm oil which is another known cholesterol raising fat. Also, most physicians do not recommend taking MCT oil if you have diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, or high cholesterol.
In summary, excess calories from any food can be stored as fat, but some foods convert and store more easily than others. Conventional dietary fat (LCTs), on the other hand, have the same chemical structure as body fat, which is why excess calories from conventional fats are very prone to being stored. Since MCT oil is processed by the liver, it is immediately burned to produce energy. For this reason, it is believed that MCT’s have very little tendency to contribute to body fat stores. Thus it is a good way to provide fats in the diet which can be used to support activity or growth without contributing to stored body fat.