A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO MCT OILS AND POWDERS
During my recent article on following a KETOGENIC diet I discussed briefly the use of MCT oils and powder.So what exactly is an MCT?
To explain there is no difference between and oil and a powder when it comes to its health benefits however the use of a too much MCT oil can be tough on the digestive system. Therefore MCT powder is the alternative that allows you to reap the health benefits of MCT’s with fewer side effects.
As the name suggests, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) powder contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are easily digested and many health benefits are linked to the way your body processes these fats.
Four different types of MCTs exist. The most common MCTs are caproic acid (lipid number C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12). In some cases, these specific types have unique benefits.
MCT powder is manufactured from MCT oil using a process called spray drying. Manufacturers use specialized industrial equipment to bind MCT oil to a microscopic fibrous carrier powder, which converts the liquid MCTs to a solid, powdered form.
During spray drying, the two substances are homogenized (blended) to create a suspension, fed through an atomizer to reduce their particle size, dried using hot air, and separated from exhaust gases. The end result is a powdered nutritional supplement with all of the benefits of MCT oil that’s portable, easy to blend into nutritious smoothies and suitable for use in recipes.
MCT Oil vs. Powder
Although MCT oils and MCT powders both offer the same range of health benefits, there are some unique pros and cons to each type of MCT supplement.
While research shows that too much MCT oil consumption can sometimes lead to digestive issues including nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhoea, many people find that MCT powder supplements are easier to digest. If you’ve ever experienced these side-effects from MCT oil, MCT powder is worth a try.
Compared to liquid MCT oil, MCT powders are less messy, more convenient, and easier to transport. The ease of use and portability of MCT powder is a significant advantage.
Texture and Mixing
Adding healthy fats like MCTs to your coffee or other beverages is a great way to boost your dietary fat intake and delay hunger pains. Medium-chain triglyceride oil products mix poorly and lend an oily, greasy feel to coffee and other drinks, but MCT powder mixes easily and creates a pleasant, creamy texture when added to liquids.
Whether you opt for oil or powder, choosing a high-quality MCT supplement is essential. Low-quality MCT powders often use starches or other unhealthy fillers. MCT oils don’t contain fillers, but cheap MCT oil may suffer from excessive heat during manufacturing, low-quality MCTs, and impurities.
Research comparing the effects of MCT powders to those of MCT oil is sparse because MCT powder supplements are relatively new. However, a 2017 trial found that an emulsified MCT powder supplement was more ketogenic and had fewer side-effects compared to conventional MCT oil.
So now you have an understanding of what an MCT is listed below are a number of the benefits of supplementation.
1. MCT’s Promote Weight Loss in Several Key Ways
MCT’s have been shown to increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin.
One study found that people taking two tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil alone.
The same study also discovered a lower rise in triglycerides and glucose with MCT oil, which may also influence the feeling of fullness.
MCT’s have about 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts and avocados.
MCTs can be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats when carb intake is low. If you’re following a ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs yet high in fat, then taking MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis
Lastly, your microbiome is very important when it comes to your weight. MCT’s can help optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining, which could also help you lose weight.
2. MCT’s Are An Instant Source of Energy That Can Be Used to Fuel Your Brain
MCT oil has been dubbed a super fuel since your body absorbs MCTs more rapidly than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which contain more carbons in their fatty acid chains.
Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break down like longer-chain fats do.
In the liver, the fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat.
Since MCTs easily enter your cells without being broken down, they can be used as an immediate source of energy.
When you’re on a ketogenic diet MCTs can also be converted into ketones in the liver.
These ketones can then pass through your blood-brain barrier, making them a convenient source of energy for your brain cells.
3. MCT’s can help with conditions such as Epilepsy, Alzheimers Disease and Heart Disease
During research into ways of managing epilepsy scientists found that fasting increases ketone production which in turn may reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. Since MCT’s convert easily into ketones this maybe beneficial. Also a study found that Capric Acid found in MCT’s may improved seizure control.
Alzheimer’s disease impairs your brain's ability to use sugar. An MCT ketogenic diet offers an alternative energy source: ketones. This allows brain cells to survive better. It also blocks a receptor in the brain that causes memory loss.
Heart disease is a growing problem. Some factors that increase your risk include high cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, being overweight and smoking. MCT’s have been shown to support weight and fat loss. This may, in turn, help reduce your risk of heart disease.
So you now may be asking how do I use MCT powder and where can I buy it.
There are many different ways to incorporate MCT powder into your daily routine:
- During a fast: although strict fasting doesn’t allow for any calories, you can use a serving of MCT’s to increase ketone production, suppress your appetite, reduce cravings, and extend your fast period. I recommend a serving of PEAK DNA diet collagen in a coffee during your fasted period
- At breakfast: a scoop of MCT powder is an ideal addition to your morning coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, and adds a pleasant, creamy texture to beverages. I recommend a serving of PEAK DNA Collagen Protein served as a creamy hot chocolate.
- In baking: MCT powder is excellent for baking or making desserts. Why not experiment making keto cookies. I recommend the using PEAK DNA chocolate protein when baking cookies.(Watch this space for future recipes)
- Pre- and post-workout: MCT powder is an ideal pre-workout supplement to boost your mental and physical performance. You can mix it with water, add it to a pre-workout drink, or use it after a workout in a protein smoothie to boost your recovery. PEAK DNA keto protein is ideal post workout.
- With collagen to reduce inflammation and promote healing in your body.
Both our products contain MCT powder and a blend of collagen proteins.
Here at PEAK DNA we have developed two products which contain all the benefits of MCT powder along with Collagen proteins. Why not give them a try, it’s a perfect way to up your healthy fat intake, encourage ketosis, and reduce cravings and hunger pangs.