Increasingly popular, MCTs are fats extracted from coconut oil which contain multiple virtues. Excellent energy sources, they contribute to the improvement of cognitive functions, but are mainly used to facilitate the ketogenic diet and weight loss.
- What are MCTs?
- The benefits of MCTs
- MCTs and sports performance
What are MCTs?
MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), by their French name, Medium Chain Triglycerides*, are the main constituents of fats (olive oil, coconut oil, dairy products, etc.)
Medium-chain triglyceride molecules benefit from easier and faster assimilation than long-chain triglycerides: they do not require pancreatic lipase (a digestive enzyme) and are absorbed directly into the blood system.
The benefits of MCTs
The benefits of MCTs are multiple, and their supplementation is most of the time in the form of oil or powder.
MCTs are mainly used for:
- People who suffer from malabsorption
- Diets to lose weight ( ketogenic diet )
- Reduction of appetite
- Energy improvement
*“medium chain” = molecule composed of 6 to 12 carbon atoms
TCM powder is extracted from coconut, which is rich in C8 caprylic acid and C10 capric acid. Their benefits act in synergy and reinforce each other.
C8 Fatty Acid – Caprylic Acid : Coconut oil is made up of approximately 5-9% caprylic acid. It is this acid that can metabolize quickly in order to be used as a source of energy. Caprylic acid is also used to calm certain gastrointestinal disorders. It helps to rebalance the intestinal flora and relieve abdominal bloating, for example.
C10 fatty acid – Capric acid : Capric acid makes up 6 to 10% of coconut oil. Its properties help with fat loss (1) and muscle development. Its antiepileptic effects have been particularly noted (2) and its effectiveness is enhanced with the presence of C8 acid.
MCTs and sport
Very often, MCT supplementation is used to support the development of a ketogenic diet (Keto). Indeed, according to a 4-day study, the intake of MCT oil in different doses induces a higher level of ketone bodies (3). These make it possible to release quickly available energy by using the body's fats. Supplementing with MCT therefore allows you to lose weight thanks to the use of lipids to produce energy.
MCT intake also allows you to simplify your dietary program by reducing appetite (4).
Through the production of ketones, a good source of energy for the brain, MCT oil helps improve cognitive functions. This is why it helps to stimulate the athlete's concentration.
- University of Alabama at Birmingham. Effects of Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil, Versus Olive Oil, for Weight Loss (Muffin). International Life Sciences Institute. September 14, 2007.
- Piotr W; Katarzyna S, et al. Acute anticonvulsant effects of capric acid in seizure tests in mice. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry . 2015 Mar 3;57:110-6.
- Angela Juby. Ketone Levels Achieved After Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil . University of Alberta. May 15, 2020.
- Marie-Pierre St-Onge. Effect of Medium Chain Triglyceride Consumption on Appetite (MCT). Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Sep 30, 2013.