A supplement is a dietary food that is becoming very common and useful to humans nowadays. It is an excellent source of getting a particular vitamin or mineral in its purest form to benefit the human body. Still, dietary supplements are not just limited to vitamin or mineral extracts. There are protein and fat versions also available of this super food.
MCT oil is one of those versions, a fat supplement used by a person to help them with health problems like obesity, high blood sugar levels, excessive fatigue and tiredness in the body, etc. The MCT oil is a healthy and nutritional source of fats.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, a type of fat found in food sources like butter or coconut oil and MCT oil is a fat supplement, which is a man-made product.
Fat is one of the essential macronutrients found inside the human body, formulated with the chains of carbon atoms, which are either long-chain fatty acids with carbon atoms between 13 to 21 numbers or small chain fatty acids in which the carbon atoms are between 6 or fewer digits. However, MCT fatty chains are the medium chains in which the carbon atoms are between 6 to 12 numbers, which are long and short.
When you consume, the MCT oil digs in the gut and goes straight to the liver without getting accumulated in the body. In the liver, the fat molecules get broken down into fat bodies, commonly known as ketones, that the brain can use to function or as an energy source instead of glucose.
Sources of MCT Oil
Following are the sources of MCT fats, which are used to make the MCT oil:
The primary and most used source of MCT oil is coconut oil. This is because it contains the highest percentages of MCT fat, so it is considered the primary source of MCT oil. However, scientific researchers also concluded that coconut cream also includes a good amount of MCT fats.
Palm kernel oil:
Palm kernel oil is another source of MCT oil which is also very common and helpful. It contains less MCT fat than a coconut but still makes almost 35 percent of MCT oil production.
Dairy products like milk, butter, cheese, or cream also contain MCT fats, but they are in much smaller percentages than coconut oil or palm kernel oil.
These three are significant sources of MCT fat. The food manufacturers extract the MCT fat and formulate it into whole and pure MCT oil in a digestible and eatable form for the human body. So, we can use this product for various purposes that will benefit a person for multiple health-related concerns like weight loss, etc.
How Do We Use MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a colorless product. Its taste is very minimal, which is near to nothing. You can straight consume it without incorporating it with anything, but it can also be added to several foods without changing their flavor. You can add the MCT oil in a lot of foods and beverages such as:
You can add the MCT oil in pre-workout smoothies or protein shake to get more energy for high-intensity exercises and training.
MCT coffee is one of the most popular ways people use this fat supplement; they add it into their coffee so that the brain can get started and functions with more potential.
Energy bars need some healthy fat for binding and as an energy source, so MCT oil is excellent for combining in energy bars.
MCT oil is great for salad dressings as it gives the salad a Luscious taste without alternating the flavor too much, and it also makes the salad more filling for the stomach.
As MCT oil has a low smoke point, it cannot be used for cooking, but you can add into sauces that do not need to be cooked or the ones in which you do not have to simmer them to reduce the sauce.
As a plain supplement:
Some people consume the MCT oil without adding it to any food or drink.
Why People Use MCT Oil as a Dietary Food
MCT oil has some health benefits that help people with different health concerns. Following are the health benefits that is the reason why people use MCT oil as a dietary food:
- It improves brain functions and results in good memory
- It acts as a significant energy source for the human body
- It is excellent for the body’s endurance when the person is engaging in high-intensity training or workouts.
- It helps us to lose weight and also to maintain our body weight.
- It lowers blood sugar levels.
- It helps to treat diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, autism, etc.
- It decreases the buildup of lactate in athletes or trainers.
- It fights infectious bacterial and fungus growth in the human body.
- It reduced the high cholesterol levels in the body.
These are the benefits that MCT oil provides to a person that is it is considered to be one of the best food choices in various diet plans like the ketogenic diet, Atkins diet, etc.
MCT Oil Side Effects
MCT oil is great for the human body and very beneficial, but everything has a positive and negative aspect which means that along with benefits, some side effects also occur. These Side Effects can only happen if you consume MCT oil more than the recommended amount. Following are the side effects of MCT oil:
It is a very common side effect of MCT oil. After consuming it, you may feel like throwing up, which can be due to its taste or just how it interacts with your body.
Nausea is a feeling when you like dizziness with body sickness. It usually happens as the MCT oil is new to your body.
Head is very common to occur when you consume MCT oil.
Upset stomach means that your body reacts to MCT oil as it is new to the body, and the stomach is trying to adapt to it.
Diarrhea also happens because of the unsettled stomach.
Digesting the MCT oil can cause intestinal gas.
Feeling of irritation.
As MCT oil is new to the body, so it feels irritation while getting used to it.
Rough and peeling skin
Skin damaging like getting dry or peeling of the skin, etc., occurs as a side effect due to the consumption of MCT oil.
How Long Do the Side Effects Last?
The side effects of MCT oil are minor and easy to overcome, which means that they are not a reason to be worried about. However, as we do not consume MCT oil daily and it is not an everyday food, when we start to consume it for better health, it is new to the body, and the body needs some time to get adapted to this new addition.
When the transition period is over and your body gets comfortable with MCT oil, the side effects will not occur, and you will have no issue consuming it. So, the side effects of MCT oil last for at least just 5 to 7 days of its consumption or until the body gets adapted to it, which is not a long time.
How to Overcome the Side Effects of MCT Oil
The side effects of MCT oil are very minimal and minor, which means that you can overcome them easily. Here are some ways through which you can overcome the side effects of MCT oil:
- Mix the MCT oil with foods and beverages so that your stomach can digest it and accept it more easily.
- Drink enough water so that your body does not go into the state of dehydration, which can occur if you get diarrhea due to MCT oil.
- Take enough rest and sleep well as your body needs it to function with more sync.
- Do not take stress as it can disturb the hormonal balance in the body.
- Eat more nutritional and healthy foods so that your body feels good and has more energy than eating foods that contain no nutritional benefits.
- You can take some medications recommended by a doctor to ease headaches, nausea, etc.
Precautions to Avoid the MCT Oil Side Effects
Some precautions can help you while consuming MCT oil and making the side effects suppress so that they do not occur;
- Before consuming the MCT oil, it is best to consult a doctor to guide you in a better way, and it is essential if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or you are a person with diseases like heart problems or cancer, etc.
- To avoid the side effects of MCT oil, it is best to consume a tiny amount of it, like one teaspoon, and then increase the intake once your body gets adapted to it.
- Suppose you have liver problems or have diabetes. In that case, it is best not to consume it or without your doctor’s suggestion because there are researches that it is not reliable for a person with a liver problem or diabetes.
MCT oil is a very beneficial dietary fat supplement, but everything has its downfalls. In this case, it is the side effects that you have to face when you start to consume it. Although, the side effects are minor and easy to recover, which means that you do not have to be much concerned about it. It is best to consider the precautions, and if they have side effects, you can overcome them without any significant difficulty.