MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are a powerful energy source from fats that are used by those following a low-carb ketogenic (eg Banting) diet. MCTs occur naturally in coconut and palm kernel oil. Lifematrix Coconut MCT oil is made only from coconuts.
MCT oils comprise primarily caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) fatty acids, usually in a 60:40 ratio of C8:C10. The oil is clear, odourless and pleasant tasting.
MCTs are proving popular because they provide the body with a high quality, instantly available source of energy (called ketones) that is easily metabolised and never stored as fat. MCT’s are metabolised directly by the liver, unlike carbohydrate sugars which must trigger an insulin response before they can be transported via the bloodstream and taken up by the cells.
So efficient is the body’s ability to convert ketones into energy that MCTs are often used to feed premature infants (parenteral feeding).
They are used as a natural performance enhancer by athletes and bodybuilders as they are anti-inflammatory in addition to providing instant and sustainable energy. MCTs have also found use in weight loss programmes where they have been shown to improve metabolism and thyroid function as well as increase the number of calories burnt (thermogenic effect). Diabetics may also benefit from including MCT oil in their diets as it improves blood sugar regulation.