The WHOLE Athlete podcast episode #77
Title: Fuel for your brain: MCT Oil.
I continue to get questions about what is MCT oil and what is “Bulletproof Coffee” from clients.
We keep hearing about MCT oil for weight loss and brain fuel. But do you know anything about MCT oil?
To dive deeper into the world of MCT oil and brain fuel, I brought on my occasional co-host Brock Armstrong. I asked Brock to do a podcast episode on MCT oil as he has worked with Ben Greenfield for years with podcasts on Ketosis and biohacking techniques. Now Brock works full time for Dave Asprey who created the well-known “Bullet Proof” coffee and popular bestselling book “The Bulletproof Diet”.
First of all let’s review what MCT oil…is
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. The interested in MCT oil has grown over the recent years partially due to the well-known benefits of Coconut Oil as well as a documented research study by Dr. Mary Newport on her husband’s treatment (see her articles and videos with the “clock study” results).
Why do we want MCT Oil in our diets when we are taught fats, especially saturated fats, cause high cholesterol and heart disease? The information in the mainstream media is conflicting as well as outdated…plus who is funding the research study? Eating real food as MCT oil and other real healthy fats doesn’t make the manufactured food companies any money unless they start selling MCT oil for brain health.
We have been brainwashed for decades that all “fat is bad for us”…”consuming saturated fats cause heart disease”… “Cholesterol is bad for us and causes heart disease”. Well what if all fat is not bad for us? Actually healthy fats are beneficial for weight loss, to lower blood sugar levels, produce ketones which are an alternative energy source for the brain and to help treat brain disorders as dementia and Alzheimer’s. MCT oil is basically a concentrated form of coconut oil…the healthy saturated fat in coconut oil is Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT oil). Instead of having coconut oil in our coffee or on our food…MCT oil is a highly concentrated source that provides many benefits including brain health and weight loss. It is quickly metabolized for energy and easily digested. MCT oils are broken down quickly, as carbohydrates, providing instant and long lasting energy …opposite of glucose.
Listen to my podcasts to learn more as we break a lot of these myths and try to re-train our brain from mainstream media confusion…https://fitnessforwardstudio.com/podcasts/
Here are some notes from my chat with Brock Armstrong:
- MCT oil benefits include brain health- feed brain with ketones which are produced from the MCT oil. Brain will use glucose first then use Ketones if no glucose is available. Brain will use glucose if you have lots of carbohydrates in your diet… solution change your entire eating strategy to low carb and high fat in order to avoid damage to your body (eating high fat and high carb= astherocolosis).
- MCT oil are fats found in foods as coconut oil (four types of MCT oil)
- Triglycerides = fat which are needed for transporting
- Increase your healthy fats as MCT Oil that you must change the
Science of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids: MCTS have 6-12 carbon atoms
(C6, C8 and C10 are also known as “Capra Fatty Acids”)
- C6= Caproic Acid:
- Not used as much as unpleasant taste and funny smell
- Burns back of throat- doesn’t taste as good
- May cause “disaster pants”!
- C8= Caprylic Acid:
- More rapidly absorbed and processed for energy over C12
- Metabolized quickly- doesn’t go through liver to be metabolized
- Only takes 3 steps to create ATP (energy for cells) vs sugar that takes 26 steps to create energy
- Easy way to power the body
- Takes 18 tbls of coconut to get = 1 tbls of caprylic acid (direct method)
- C10 = Capric Acid
- Less rare, 9% of coconut oil made up of Capric acid
- Longer to break down
- 6 tabls of coconut oil to get 1 tbls of capric acid
- C12 = Lauric Acid
- Biggest part of coconut oil
- Metabolized by the body almost as a long chain triglycerides
- Less efficient way to obtain energy than C8 or C10 MCTs
- Problem- stops in liver to get broken down for energy so not as quick and direct
- Unique health benefits: anti-microbial properties. The benefits that may kill off harmful bacteria and viruses
- C14 and higher are long chain triglycerides
Why take MCT oil? It depends your use…
Use coconut oil for cooking at higher eat but if you need to fire up the brain and quick energy for sports performance then go to the direct source: MCT oil is fast energy source and less likely stored as fat.
As I often say to clients …”Eat fat to burn fat, Eat sugar to gain fat.”
How much? Studies suggested a range of 5 to 70 grams of MCT oil daily. If you goal is for overall good health then just use coconut oil daily.
Digestion of MCT oil:
- Rapidly broken down and absorbed in the body
- MCTs go directly to the liver and used as instant energy or turned into ketones
- Ketones are produced by the liver when large amounts of fat are broken down
- Ketones are different that regular fatty acids- they can cross the blood brain barrier and be used as fuel for the brain.
- Ketones can provide alternative energy source for the brain instead of the main source used glucose fuel
- MCT oils are less likely stored as fat as they are more rapidly broken down and absorbed into the body then most often used as fast energy source over glucose (when combined with a low-carb diet)
Benefits of adding MCT oils into your low-carb food plan:
- Improves blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity (type 2 diabetes benefits)
- Improves metabolism
- Improves appetite regulation
- Beneficial for treating many health issues as seizures, Alzheimer’s and dementia
- May improve cholesterol levels and higher antioxidant vitamin levels
- Improved brain function as MCT oils produce ketones
- Improved learning, memory and brain processing (those with APOE4 gene)
Sources of MCT oil: coconut and palm kernel oil are rich sources of MCT but MCT is direct
- Coconut oil – greater than 60% =4 types of MCT, 50% Lauric acid/C12 and smaller amounts of “capra fatty acids” C6, C8 and C10. Best natural sources of MCT oil.
- Palm kernel oil – greater than 50%
- Dairy products- 10-12% = 4-12% Capra fatty acids (C6, C8 and C10) and 2-5% of Lauric acid C12.
- Whole food sources as coconut oil and grass-fed dairy are ideal for additional benefits
- MCT oil is a highly concentrated source of medium chain triglycerides which you can order (see my page for links on fitnessforwardstudio.com/sugardetox/links
- 100% Caprylic Acid C8
- 100% Capric Acid C10
- Or combination of C8 and C10
How to use MCT oil in your diet: Brock’s suggestions
- Salad dressing
- Blend with avocado
- Mashed cauliflower
Why should you use MCT oil in your daily diet?
- Change diet first- do not add MCT oil into your food plan if you do not change your food plan
- Become metabolically efficient first by eating low carb
- Benefits to using MCT oil to keep full longer, satiated and eat less as well as brain fuel, clarity, ability to focus and sharpness.
- Not a substitute to eating real food big meal with healthy fats as grass fed steak
- Too much of anything is not idea
- Four day rotational diet: switch what you eat
- Not to rely on “bulletproof coffee” to fuel you all day…you still need to eat real food with lots of nutrition.
- Adding a little MCT oil to your meals will keep you full for 4 plus hours and stay satisfied- great trick if you don’t have time to eat and trying to lose weight.
- Add real food nutritious meals instead of only eating fats… combine your fats with your organic vegetables and grass fed protein sources.
Your BRAIN on Ketones or Glucose?
- Glucose runs out quickly- “kindling on the fire”
- Ketones burn longer- “big logs on the fire” lasting energy, slow burn
- Brain is sharp instead of highs and lows that glucose energy provide
- Research doesn’t say you will be smarter but your brain will be functioning very well and consistently
- Mary Newport’s husband drawing the clock…check out the links to see photos
- If you have brain function issues as Alzheimer’s, dementia and ADHD… see more on the benefits for MCT oil and ketosis.
- See links below
The new famous MCT… C8: Caprylic Acid:
- Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal effects
- Beneficial for digestive and reproductive organs- bladder, gut and urethra function
- Fighting inflammation
- Cancer treatment benefits
- Age-related cognitive decline ailments
Read these articles on saturated fats and MCT oil benefits:
“MCTs, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets, most likely because the public has been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially harmful. However, recently research has shown a lot of evidence about the real truth regarding saturated fats.” http://draxe.com/mct-oil/
MCT oil, Coconut Oil and Ketosis:
Don’t forget that in order to improve fat loss, health and performance you must work on the “WHOLESTIC Method” elements. Start by improving nutrition first then work on improving the other eight elements. See more on my “free gift” download on fitnessforwardstudio.com