The Big Debate: Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil
We all love a wonder product, something that gives us great benefits and enhances our well-being. But with so many remedies and tonics available it’s sometimes tricky to take it all in. So, let's try and get to the nuts and bolts of the difference between MCT Oil and Coconut Oil.
Before we compare the two oils we need to understand what an MCT is. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride and is a type of saturated fatty acid. The great thing about an MCT is that is can provide a valuable energy boost without having to pay a visit to our liver first, making it highly effective.
There are four principal MCT’s: Caproic Acid (C6), Caprylic Acid (C8), Capric Acid (C10) and Lauric Acid (C12). The first three are undisputed MCT’s, the fourth - Lauric Acid, is classed as an MCT but there is some debate as to whether it should be, as it doesn’t really act like one. Lauric Acid behaves more like a long-chain triglyceride as it has to go via the liver before it can become effective.
MCT oil can assist us in improving our physical and mental well-being. You can find it in naturally in some dairy products, palm kernel oil and coconut oil, it has a translucent appearance, and gives off no smell. So, what’s so super about MCT oil? Well, for starters it can speed up your metabolism and suppress your appetite keeping you feeling fuller for longer. A recent study comparing MCT oil and coconut as part of the subjects breakfasts showed the MCT oil group ate less for lunch, and reported higher energy levels, than the coconut oil group. It can also help you to perform better when working out (so you can get the most from your exercise sessions), and MCT gives your brain a great boost. Smarter and leaner? Yes please, we like the sound of that!
Coconut oil contains a high level of saturated fats, and the principal element is MCT oil, it also has anti-flammatory and antioxidant properties. Saturated fats are great at helping to regulate cholesterol, which means a reduced risk of developing heart disease. Coconut oil also boosts energy levels and protects the brain – it is thought to be instrumental in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
Are Coconut Oil and MCT Oil the Same?
Looking at the health benefits above we can see that both MCT oil and coconut oil are undoubtedly great for you. But let’s look at the bottom line, coconut oil contains high levels of Lauric Acid (C12) which MCT oil does not. Whilst Lauric Acid is classed as an MCT it actually behaves more like a long-chain fatty acid which is more difficult for your body to digest. Lauric acid is also know to raise cholesterol and doesn’t provide the ‘instant energy’ that true MCTs, like C8 & C10, can offer. Therefore, as a pure alternative to coconut oil, MCT oil offers a more concentrated and effective option.