MCT Oil is fully absorbed 15 minutes after consuming and is rapidly converted into ketones in your liver for immediate energy. Optimum ketone levels may be measured and are responsible for the beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet. What very few people realize however is that there is a right way and a wrong way to take MCT Oil to reach these physiologically active amounts.
MCT Oil is the pillar of the Ketogenic Diet
Of the 3 main Medium Chain Triglyceride's, known as C8-Caprylic acid, C10-Capric acid and C12-Lauric acid, C8 is the fastest of all to produce ketones followed by C10, with C12 producing little, if any at all. At Rainforest Herbs all our MCT Products contain 60% Caprylic Acid and 40% Capric Acid with the exception of Intelligen C8 MCT Oil that contains >98% pure C8. Along with the MCT Oil in our KetoCreme MCT powder range these also contain fibers, starch or amino acids that assist their digestion and metabolism. So what is the best way to incorporate these powerful functional MCT foods into your family's diet and to avoid any digestive distress?
Our goal is to metabolize the MCT Oil effectively and maintain optimum ketones throughout the day, not to have the oil flush through our system undigested. When taken properly, the MCT's are metabolized quickly and ketones are produced with the 1st effect being decreased appetite due to its effect on lowering leptin levels. Next, we can feel an increase in energy and focus without the worries that unused calories from MCT will be stored as fat, making MCT Oil "the fat that makes you thin". Following this there are many additional therapeutic effects of ketones beyond the effects on preventing obesity and this is the subject of great scientific interest of late due to the global popularity of the Ketogenic Diet and this includes benefits such as:
- Improved brain function in cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and autism
- Improved blood sugar metabolism and prevention of diabetes
- Improves absorption of other nutrients in our diet
- Anti-inflammatory diet for prevention and treatment of inflammatory chronic diseases
- Reduction in symptoms in behavioral and psychological conditions
- Alternative treatment for pediatric epilepsy and seizure disorders
- Increased sports performance and endurance
- Complementary role in cancer dietary therapy alongside conventional treatment
- Life extension when used in conjunction with intermittent fasting
Adding a teaspoon per person of MCT Oil to food is the secret of maintaining sufficient ketones all day long
The secret of getting the maximum benefit is in taking MCT Oil with food. MCT Oil is present in small amounts in various foods we eat and is found in its highest concentration in coconuts. It is an almost tasteless oil that follows a unique method of digestion that is faster than all other dietary oils because of its shorter molecular structure but just because it is rapidly metabolized does not mean we can just drink it on its own and become super human.
MCT Oil is best suited to be added to any foods you prepare and it will enhance the taste of the food while supplying ketone energy throughout the day. For example if you add it to your scrambled eggs or in a healthy salad dressing then you will find everything tastes richer and also makes you full faster (leptin appetite suppression response) so that you eat less and stay satisfied longer. Baking with MCT Oil is another great way to incorporate MCT's into your diet and a cake or bread (preferably no net carb baking with coconut flour) that has added MCT Oil will even have an extended shelf life as MCT's resist oxidant and have the longest shelf life of all vegetable oils. MCT's are also heat resistant so the benefits are not affected by cooking and thus a small amount can be added to just about everything you cook.
Mistakes in taking MCT Oil
If we take MCT Oil on its own then some digestive upset can occur, especially when we are still new to consuming MCT Oil. Frankly there is no side effect to taking MCT Oil other than our body rejecting in the form of loose motions, either because we have taken too much too soon or taken it on an empty stomach. This also applies when taking MCT Oil with black coffee on an empty stomach or mixed with other fats, like coconut oil, coconut butter, cream or regular grass fed cows butter as in the classic "Bulletproof Coffee".
In nature MCT fats are always accompanied by either proteins such as fatty meat or fibers and carbohydrates such as in a coconut and all of these require chewing that adds salivary digestive enzymes before entering the stomach. When taking MCT Oil directly and bypassing chewing then we need to respect this natural law and be aware that it's best when accompanying other foods. MCT Oils are absorbed in the small intestine not the stomach, so when taking MCT on its own then your stomach may register discomfort as it does not have the enzymes to digest the oil. When MCT Oil is taken along with other foods, or in powder form then your stomach is involved and this reduces the chance of any stomach distress or loose motions that can occur when we push our digestive system beyond what it's used to.
Measuring Ketones takes out the guesswork
MCT Oil is to be considered the central pillar of the ketogenic diet and the fastest way to achieve the target ketone level of between 1.5 - 3mmol/l as seen in the chart here. To achieve these levels by a low carb diet diet alone (without MCT Oil) will take time to develop the metabolic flexibility to effectively burn fats for fuel. MCT Oil accelerates this process and this is why it is considered a "body hack" by modern day biohackers. As ketones last for only a few hours after consuming MCT Oil it is best to take it several times a day with low carb meals to keep the ketone levels stable and to enjoy their many benefits.
Keeping track of your ketone levels when taking MCT Oil and on a ketogenic diet gives you the feedback you need to understand how powerful MCT Oil is in achieving a state of ketosis. Keeping a ketosis diary also reveals which foods are blocking ketone production such as any food that spikes blood sugar, excessively sweet fruits, juices etc. and alcohol. Each of us is reacts differently based on our genetic response to carbohydrates and thus just because someone you know needs to follow strictly to achieve this target ketosis range, you may be able to incorporate a more balanced range of foods and this personalized approach can be better understood if you also take a Nutrigenomic DNA analysis incorporating those genes that regulate salivary amylase, fat metabolism.
Being in ketosis frequently allows us achieve a state of metabolic flexibility that is a pillar of health, freedom from preventable inflammatory conditions and longevity. It is not necessary to be in ketosis permanently and indeed once you achieve your target weight and health goals it is natural now to follow a cyclical keto diet only. This means cycling between optimal ketosis, monthly fasting and occasional feasting on your favourite carbohydrate foods, preferably unprocessed and high fibre and within reasonable quantities.
Don't follow blindly someone else's diet or lifestyle as they have a completely different genetic predisposition to you. Keep a personalized food diary and be honest about what works for you in relation to your ketone levels, appetite, stress, sleep and energy levels. Enjoy making fresh unprocessed foods the basis of your diet and exercise a pillar of your lifestyle. Most importantly, make the effort to expand your range of tasty recipes incorporating these ingredients to avoid this from being just another fad diet that you tried and failed but a holistic lifestyle you and your whole family can enjoy and benefit from.