Alternative, Integrative & Functional Medicine using food

Coconut Oil placed in a glass bowl on top of a burlap sack.

20

Dec

2017

What is MCT oil and the subtle difference over Coconut oil?

First off, let’s understand why the health population all over the world is going crazy about MCT oil. MCT is an acronym for Medium Chain Triglycerides – of which coconut oil has about 62% concentration. So slowly coconut oil, which Indians have neglected in the myth of avoiding fats in their diet, has started coming out of the closet. Now MCT oils are being used by health freaks, and the why?


MCTs bypass the digestive system, the short chain length of medium chain fatty acids, makes them easily digestible as opposed to long chain fatty acids. As I had highlighted in my first book they hit the liver providing instant energy and also have a thermogenic effect on the body, which basically improves metabolism and also aids weight loss. Apart from everything else that they do, the most important benefit is of being favourable for the gut ecosystem, they prevent any dysbiosis from taking place, i.e., the multiplication of pathogens in the gut. So not only will you have enhanced digestion, but also the ability to absorb fats from foods, and better improved thinking ability and moods.


While the South of India, uses coconut oil daily; in other parts of India we do not include it in our diets. Our diets in India are taste-specific depending on the culture we hail from, so a North Indian in my experience does not have an intimate relationship with coconut oil. As many other Indians do not use it for its potent strong smell of coconuts.


So what’s the difference between coconut oil and MCT oil? MCT oil has more concentrated forms of MCTs over coconut oil that has it in different proportions. Coconut oil is about 50% of one kind of MCT called lauric acid; that’s why people prefer pure concentrated MCT oil over coconut oil. In coconut oil, a high percentage of MCTs are not short chain fatty acids, hence the difference between coconut and pure MCT oil. This oil has been bought to the forefront by David Asprey the man who invented Bulletproof coffee, where he advocates the use of the Bulletproof coffee+MCT oil (which he calls Brain Octane Oil)+grass fed cow ghee as a concoction to lose weight and gain some brain energy.


Pure MCT and brain Octane oil do not become solid at room temperature, as they are distilled in a way to be more pure forms of MCTs. A good thing to watch out for, and this you will know from the label, is to read how the extraction of MCT oil is done, and whether they have been chemically treated for extraction; also if they do have lauric acid present in a significant amount or has it been removed.


My advice to you, use both oils.


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