Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fat metabolized differently than other fats. The human body processes most fats first by breaking them down into smaller components called fatty acids, which it further breaks down into something called beta-oxidation to create energy for our cells. Coconut oil is one of the few sources of MCTs that we can ingest directly.
This unique property makes coconut oil an excellent medium-chain triglyceride source. But can MCT oil also enhance your cognition? This article explains everything you need to know about MCTs and how they can improve your thinking skills if appropriately consumed.
What are Medium-Chain Triglycerides?
Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat metabolized differently than other fats. The human body processes most fats first by breaking them down into smaller components called fatty acids, which it further breaks down into something called beta-oxidation to create energy for our cells. However, MCTs are different because they bypass the oxidation stage and are converted directly into power by the liver.
MCTs are metabolized in just a few hours, which means that they are not available as a source of energy for the long term. It is significant because it implies that MCTs do not increase blood sugar levels, which is a problem that usually accompanies other types of fats.
MCT Oil and Your Brain
MCTs are metabolized by the liver, which means that they do not interfere with blood sugar levels and are, therefore, suitable for diabetics. MCTs have also been shown to promote feelings of satiety, which can be an excellent aid for those who are trying to lose weight by cutting calories.
MCTs are ideal for cognitive function, as well. They are readily absorbed into the bloodstream and are used directly by the brain for energy. Additionally, MCTs are easily converted into ketones, an efficient energy source for the brain. MCTs are generally safe for everyone, but you should be aware that some people may experience digestive issues if consumed in large quantities.
Benefits of MCTs for Cognitive Function
MCTs are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which the brain and nervous system use as a quick energy source. MCTs have positively affected neurological and cognitive disorders such as brain fog, anxiety, autism, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
MCTs are also helpful in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. They can also improve your reaction time and focus and boost your mood.
How to Use MCTs to Enhance Cognition
If you want to use MCTs to enhance your cognition, you should consume at least two tablespoons of coconut oil or one tablespoon of MCT oil daily. A word of caution, however: while MCT oil is an excellent source of MCTs, it is also usually highly processed, which can add to the harmful effects of other chemicals such as hexane.
If you want to include MCTs in your diet naturally, try adding coconut oil to your daily smoothie. You can also roast nuts or seeds with coconut oil for a delicious snack or use coconut oil to make a stir fry.
Possible Side Effects of MCT Oil
The only significant side effect of MCTs is digestive issues, including nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. If you experience these, you should stop taking MCT oil or coconut oil, or you may want to try a different brand.
One of the significant potential side effects of MCT oil is that it may interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. If you are using MCT oil for therapeutic reasons, such as for treating cognitive disorders, this may be a problem.
Another potential side effect of MCTs is that they may cause weight gain. It is because MCTs are different from other types of fats in that they do not increase blood sugar levels, which means that they will not cause you to feel hungry.
MCTs are beneficial for those who are looking to improve their cognitive function. They are easily absorbed by the body and provide an excellent energy source. If you are interested in incorporating MCTs into your diet, you have a few options.
You can consume coconut oil daily, or you can try an MCT oil supplement. Just be aware that MCT oil is often highly processed so that it may have more harmful side effects than coconut oil.