MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil?

What is MCT Oil?  MCT oil is a powerful adjunct to any ketogenic diet, helping your body to burn fat & create ketones quicker than it would on its own.  Dont end up misguided, buying the wrong oil- such as coconut oil, thinking you are getting the maximum benefits of MCT oil when you are not.   
There are many types of fats most of us have heard of-

  • Omega 3
  • Omega 6
  • Omega 9
  • Mono-unsaturated
  • Saturated

There are also what is knowns as –

  • Short Chain Triglycerides
  • Medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s)
  • Long chain triglycerides

Medium chain triglycerides are what we are focusing on today.
MCT ‘s are Found in Coconut oil and Palm kernel oil.  Medium Chain Triglycerides are literally named after where each carbon molecule (C) sits on the chemical chain of the triglyceride.  Each length of carbons has its own name as you can see here below

Coconuts are made up of the 3 different medium chain triglycerides- Lauric, Caprylic and Capric acids.

Can I just add here- many biochemists know Lauric acid with its 12 carbons actually acts like a long chain triglyceride (LCT) the extra 2 carbons require additional metabolic steps, meaning your liver is less effective at absorbing C12 and it does not break down into Ketones unless your carbohydrates are exceptionally low.   Your liver is less effective at breaking the C12 chain down.   C8 is the superior MCT oil followed by C10.

The key to a good quality MCT oil is based upon how much caprylic acid (C8) is in your product. For example, if you were to buy coconut oil, rather than an MCT oil, yes, the coconut oil contains all 3 of the fatty acids; C8- Caprylic acid (our star MCT), C10- Capric acid & C12– Lauric acid, however coconut oil contains only 6% of the C8.

To obtain the superior benefits required for Ketosis, C8 needs to be extracted out of coconut oil- this gives us a specific MCT8 oil.

You would need 18 tablespoons of coconut oil to get the same benefits of just one tablespoon of 100% C8

MCT8 oil increases your body’s ability to make Ketones.  The ketones made within your body naturally are called endogenous ketones.

There are endogenous and exogenous ketones.

Exogenous ketones are supplements and in my opinion, expensive supplements that are not required.   In fact, Exogenous ketone supplements are products that claim they get you into ketosis without having to eat keto.  Multi-Level Marketing- that is what Exogenous ketone powders are.   
Exogenous Ketone products will spike your ketones- yes, however those ketones are not viable- they are not able to be utilized by the body.   Blood sugars needs to be balanced, if your glucose levels are not within an optimal range, your body can not fully access those ketones- they are lost out of the body in your urine.

Check the label-

  • Is your MCT oil high in the favourable C8 Caprylic acid, or does it have more C12-Lauric acid?  If it’s not on the label, then personally I wouldn’t even purchase the product.   You may be a little more lenient and call the distributor or manufacturer.
  • Lesser quality products dilute their MCT product with lauric acid-C12.  C12 is a useful but cheap, and hugely abundant part of coconut oil.  As mentioned earlier, C12 is technically not even an MCT, it’s an LCT.
  • Is your MCT oil derived from coconut oil, or is it partly derived from palm oil?

To read more about the ethics behind the production of palm oil, read more here:

Don’t go cheap!  Not ever, not in life, and certainly not with your MCT oil.
If you were to add coconut oil to your pure MCT oil, you will actually blunt the ketone spike you are trying to achieve.

In some cafes in Sydney, they advertise selling what is known as a “bulletproof coffee” A true bullet proof coffee contains butter, caffeine and MCT oil.   However, I have noticed not every café offering a “bullet proof” coffee is actually using MCT oil.  They are simply using coconut oil.

A true “Ketonian” knows caffeine is off the menu for them anyway.   That is right- caffeine and ketosis don’t mix!   Fatty teas are what we love, fatty teas and fat bombs!

Studies show you cannot get enough MCTs from just eating coconut oil.  The same can be said for using any old MCT oil- you need to know exactly what medium chain triglyceride is in your MCT oil how much of it.
MCTs provide about ten percent fewer calories than other fats- including LCT’s – 8.3 calories per gram for MCTs versus 9 calories per gram for other fats.   To be honest, that fact isn’t really worth a mention as by now you know how much our body and brains craves, totally loves a high fat diet!
Furthermore, MCTs have been shown to enhance thermogenesis (fat burning) toot toot!

If you want to know more about running on fat- or what is called a ketogenic diet (high fat diet) just let me know.

Book: Fats that heal, fats that kill. Udo Erasmus