MCT oil was discussed in my previous post on Mike Ashley, due to the fact that he consumed MCT oil in order to consume more calories. But what is it, how is it used, and are there any risks to using it?
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are shorter fatty acids than LCTs, Long Chain Triglycerides. MCTs contain about 6-12 carbon atoms, whereas LCTs contain 16-22.(ISSA, 2003) How long the chain is determines how quickly it will digest. Because MCTs are shorter, they digest faster than LCTS, and are converted to be used for energy. LCTs are more likely to be stored as body fat, but MCTs go straight from the small intestine to the liver where it is processed for energy use and there is not much left to be stored.
This leads many to believe that MCT is good for burning fat. However, studies have only conclusively proven this in animals.(ISSA, 2003) Not as many studies have been conducted on its effects on humans, however, at least two studies have suggested that MCT increases thermogenesis and thus you burn more fat. Studies have also shown that MCTs increase metabolism.(“MCT oil,” n.d.)
This is just a brief summary of the structure and functions of medium chain triglycerides, so for more in-depth information, be sure to look at the cited articles at the bottom. Whether or not MCT oils effectively burn fat and increase metabolism will be the topic of further study.
ISSA. “MCT Oil: Is It The Ultimate Way To Burn Fat?” Bodybuilding.com. N.p., 28 Apr. 2003. Web. 03 May 2016. <http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa23.htm>.
“MCT Oil Is One of the Most Underrated Sports Supplements on the Market.” Lean & Muscular. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2016. <http://www.leanandmuscular.org/mct-oil.php>.