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    The Wild Guide To MCT Oil

    “Coconut oil, being a highly saturated fat, is the least vulnerable of all the dietary oils to oxidation and free-radical formation and therefore is the safest to use in cooking.”

    ― Bruce Fife, The Coconut Oil Miracle

    Lucky for us, MCT oil has caught the interest of scientists and researchers who set out to test these claims and, in the process, discovered a mountain of benefits.

    MCT oil helps maintain a healthy weight, reduces fatigue and brain fog, and improves mood and overall energy.

    It is important to note that not all MCT oil is created equal. When purchasing a high-quality MCT supplement, it's essential to differentiate the good from the bad.

    While seemingly beneficial, poor-quality MCT cannot deliver the same results as high-quality MCT.

    Whether you are trying to boost your energy, manage your weight, or simply wonder what the buzz about MCT oil is, our Wild Guide to MCT oil will answer all your questions.

    Let's learn about this fantastic oil, shall we?

    What Does MCT Stand for?

    What causes low HCL?

    "MCT" stands for medium-chain triglyceride, a saturated fatty acid named for the length of its carbon chains.

    Triglycerides are one of the main components of body fat in humans, animals, and vegetable fat. These fats are most notably found in the white, fleshy part of the coconut, palm kernel oil, and many dairy products.

    Triglycerides are also found in the blood and enable the transfer of fats and glucose to and from the liver. This small compound plays a massive part in creating healthy skin oils and helping your body function properly daily.

    In addition, your brain also thrives off this type of fat, making it the perfect 'brain food' - helping you think more clearly and remember things longer. Medium-chain triglycerides have even improved brain function in Alzheimer's patients.

    Triglycerides comprise two simple but different parts: a glycerol backbone and three (or more) fatty acids. MCTs have heavy acid chains that contain a medium length of carbon (6-12 carbon chains). 

    This performs more complicated tasks within the body that short-chain fatty acids are otherwise incapable of completing (such as eliminating excess body fat.)

    What is MCT oil?

    MCT oil is derived from coconuts but differs chemically from other MCT sources (such as refined coconut oil).

    It is essential to understand what goes into the structure of your MCT oil and how to determine the best quality among them.

    Not only does this give you a better understanding of what to look for in a product, but it also helps you understand how the oil works. This is oversimplified, but overall: the shorter the chain, the simpler the compound. 

    A shorter chain means your body can process and metabolize the fatty acid more quickly than a longer chain.

    Below are the standard medium-chain fatty acids found in MCT Oil.

    Medium Chain Fatty Acids

    Caproic Acid (C6)
    ​​This fatty acid is a colorless and oily liquid with an odor reminiscent of goat cheese, fats, and waxiness. It is naturally found in animal oils and fats such as milk and cream and in plant matter such as vanilla and coconut.

    Caprylic Acid (C8)
    ​This fatty acid is an oily, colorless liquid with an unpleasant, rancid-smelling odor. It is naturally found in animal milk and plants, such as coconut and palm kernel oils.

    Capric Acid (C10)
    ​This fatty acid has a white, crystalline structure with a strong, unpleasant odor reminiscent of sweat and goats. It is naturally found in animal milk, coconut, and palm kernel oils.

    Lauric Acid (C12)
    ​This fatty acid has a white, powdery appearance with an odor reminiscent of bay leaves or oils. Lauric acid may also be listed as "dodecanoic acid" in some products. This fatty acid is found in a variety of milk from humans, goats, cows, and other mammals. It is also found in various plants, such as coconut milk, coconut oil, laurel (bay) oil, and pumpkins.

    It's no secret that fatty acids are good for you, and since these MCTs are readily utilized (even before being broken down), they are not readily stored as body fat (like long-chain triglycerides). These fatty acids have even been shown to burn fat stores and lower overall calorie consumption, a primary struggle for many dieters.

    This process starts with the digestion of fatty acids. These medium-chain fatty acids are digested and absorbed into the liver, activating a 'thermogenic' effect.

    This thermogenic action happens when your body 'burns' the fuel you've given it – in this case, medium chain fatty acids – creating heat and energy. This heat and power increase your metabolic system, effectively burning excess body fat cells.

    How Is MCT Oil Made?

    ​MCT oil is a concentrated product that separates these fatty acid chains from coconut or palm kernel oil (in some cases).

    ​In this method, the temperature of the oils is controlled, and fractionation is used to separate the medium-chain triglycerides from the coconut. Some compounds are partially crystallized, and the remaining liquid is separated from the solids through filtration or centrifugation.

    You'll find that MCT oil can include any number of medium-chain fatty acids, often only two or three, and sometimes all four. The effectiveness of the manufacturer's fractionation process determines the quantity of medium-chain fatty acids present in the oil.

    MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil

    The main difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is their chemical composition. Each is beneficial and miraculous in its own right, but it serves different functions for different purposes.

    ​Coconut oil contains a wide variety of short and long-chain triglycerides and other compounds, making it more complex for your body to metabolize and break down. 

    Coconut oil contains over 50% medium-chain triglycerides, most of which are lauric acids.

    ​The high concentration of lauric acid is why coconut oil is more beneficial for antimicrobial and antibacterial purposes. These properties are also why coconut oil is widely used in hair and skin products.

    The average composition of coconut oil looks much like this:

    • Caprylic acid (C8): 5-8%
    • Capric acid (C10): 6-9%
    • Lauric acid (C12): 44-55%
    • Longer fatty acids (C14 and above): 12-40%

    As previously stated, lauric acid, long-chain fatty acids, and low levels of caprylic and capric acid make up the majority of the MCT content in coconut oil.

    Some believe lauric acid doesn't qualify as a "true MCT" because it breaks down slower than C6, C8, and C10, so the benefits are lost without higher amounts of short-chain fatty acids.

    The average MCT oil composition looks much like this:

    • Caproic acid (C6): 1-2%
    • Caprylic acid (C8): 65-75%
    • Capric acid (C10): 25-35%
    • Lauric acid (C12): 1-2%

    MCT oil contains only a small amount of lauric acid, Which is usually taken out. Lauric acid is found in other sources like vegetables, herbs, and milk. This decrease in lauric acid is why many sources believe MCT oil is not a replacement for coconut oil but an addition to your diet.

    The debate over the legitimacy of lauric acid being a true medium-chain triglyceride is because some claim it behaves as a long-chain fatty acid. 

    However, it's still within the threshold to be considered a medium-chain triglyceride. While the longest MCT comes in at 12 carbon atoms, lauric acid is just at the cutoff and is, in fact, an actual medium-chain fatty acid.

    MCT vs. Palm Kernel Oil

    Much debate has been over whether palm kernel oil is better or worse for you than coconut oil when ingesting MCT oil. In reality, the end product is the same, and take note that palm kernel oil is not the same as palm oil (which comes from the outer shell of the palm instead of the kernel.)

    Palm oil is much cheaper/more accessible for some manufacturers to produce and is often processed using high-heat chemical means that threaten to degrade the final raw ingredient.

    Regarding palm sourcing, we feel strongly about conscious consumerism at Wild Foods. And how that applies to something like the deforestation of palm forests in Asia is thus: Simply not buying palm products will not elicit change in the palm industry.

    The way to encourage sustainable and long-term protection of our valuable environment is by supporting the producers (usually smaller ones) that do things correctly.

    When you buy from these producers, you support farmers who invest in their farms and the crops they grow while also allowing them to constantly improve their crops/land/soil and infrastructure, which will result in a net positive benefit to the environment.

    Our Wild mission is to support these quality producers so they can turn around and support us and our world!

    Food vs. MCT Oil

    MCFAs are essential, healthy fats that are digested quickly and processed in the liver, which induces a thermogenic effect. 

    This thermogenic effect heats the compounds and turns them into energy, which your body then utilizes as 'fuel' called ketones for your liver, blood, cardiovascular system, brain, and other vital organs.

    Like everything else, MCT oil has an origin. The source of MCT oil comes straight from many of the same foods we eat daily.

    Other sources of MCFAs—medium chain fatty acids:

    Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains approximately 14% medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) by weight.

    Palm Kernel Oil: Palm kernel oil contains about 7.2% MCFAs by weight.

    CheeseCheese contains approximately 7.3% MCFAs by weight.

    Butter​Butter contains about 9.2% MCFAs by weight.

    MilkGoat's milk contains about 6.9% MCFAs by weight.

    YogurtYogurt contains about 6.6% MCFAs by weight.

    The MCFAs you get from these foods are often paired with long-chain triglycerides and short-chain triglycerides, meaning your body will take longer to digest and metabolize these fats than pure MCT oil (which is one of the benefits of MCT oil).

    MCT oil will not degrade over time as yogurt or milk will—it is exceptionally shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration.

    Furthermore, MCT oil is utilized by the body more quickly and efficiently than solid foods such as cheese or yogurt.

    Even still, since many of the foods that contain MCFAs also contain dairy, people who are lactose intolerant won't get as many MCFAs as their body needs to properly metabolize fats from their liver and keep their brain working in top-notch conditions. 

    MCT oil is a fantastic way to compensate for the nutrients your body lacks through dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance.

    Why put MCT Oil in coffee?

    We often put sugar or other sweeteners in our coffee, cream, or milk. Some even add other flavorings like cinnamon for a delicious twist. What else can you put in your coffee? MCT oil.

    When you put MCT oil in your coffee, it is often referred to as keto coffee and is one of the more popular ways to consume MCT oil for those following a low-carb and high-fat ketogenic diet. 

    Also known as bulletproof coffee or butter coffee, it helps you reach and stay in ketosis while drastically reducing your carb intake and increasing the healthy fats in your keto diet. In this case, instead of adding butter to your coffee, you would add MCT oil. 

    Here are some of the benefits of MCT oil in your coffee:

    • It has been shown to increase hormone release and stimulate a feeling of fullness.
    • Increases metabolic rate
    • Suppresses appetite
    • It helps reduce insulin resistance in the body.
    • Helps reduce inflammation
    • Improves mental clarity and cognitive functions
    • Burns calories

    MCT oil coffee gives you that burst of energy to get you through your day and provides numerous health benefits to improve other areas of your life. 

    The recommended amount of MCT oil to add to your coffee is 1 to 2 tablespoons. However, if you start with MCT oil, you want to start with a smaller amount (one teaspoon) and see how well it is tolerated. 

    Adding MCT oil to your morning coffee is also best because it will help you stay fuller throughout the day, aid your weight loss goals, and help you steer clear of disease. 

    MCT Health Benefits

    There are a variety of health benefits associated with consuming MCT oil. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are quickly metabolized in the body compared to long-chain fatty acids, making them a portion of veritable brain food. It also plays a vital role in the cognitive function of memory-impaired adults.

    MCT oil has MCFAs that are good for your health and the way your body works. Some of these studies have used MCFAs from virgin coconut oil as source material for testing.

    Since virgin coconut oil is, on average, composed of over 50% medium-chain triglycerides, it's no wonder many people love MCT oil as a supplement.

    Below are a few of the many benefits found from the daily use of MCT oil.

    MCT May Help "Brain Fog' and Fight Fatigue

    We all face mid-day fatigue and the unwelcome "brain fog" occasionally.

    Scientists studying the relationship between MCFAs and the brain have found that the human brain loves ketones.

    Ketones are produced when your liver metabolizes MCFAs into heat and energy. Usually, your brain feeds off of glucose like the rest of your body. 

    Still, if your brain isn't getting enough healthy glucose or your insulin is too low to respond to the glucose in your system, ketones can come in as the special ops backup to keep you fueled and functioning.

    There may be evidence that this process of keto utilization may help Alzheimer's patients recover their cognitive function.

    Ketones are rapidly energized, giving you a quick boost for mid-day fatigue, which is one of the benefits of using MCT oil in your coffee since it helps fight the "midday slump."

    MCT May Balance Your Hormones

    If you have trouble keeping your hormone levels in check, MCFAs are lovely for balancing your hormone levels, especially if you take a brand of MCT oil containing lauric acid (like our Wild MCT in the 16oz bottle). 

    Some of the fatty acids you get from your MCT oil will be saturated fats, which may help your body naturally balance your hormones.

    MCT May Improve Mood

    We all want a better mood throughout the day.

    Many people who take MCT oil report a boost in their overall mood. While this is harder to prove scientifically, given how little we know about the brain and the lack of research on philosophy and MCT oil, it's something you may want to experiment with yourself.

    MCT May Improve Your Immune System

    While the direct effects MCT oil has on your immune system need more research, what researchers do know is that MCT oil is an excellent antibacterial agent that can help you fight off the common cold and other types of bacterial and viral infections.

    MCT oil is also a great fuel replacement for your body because it replaces sugars with MCFAs that make ketone. Since many bacteria feed off sugars, reducing sugar can starve bacteria out of your body.

    Plus, we must curb sugar from our diet as often as possible.

    Alzheimer's and Dementia

    ​In recent research, scientists have discovered that the brain creates its insulin.

    Since insulin's job is to process glucose and provide energy to the surrounding cells, we know that this brain-produced insulin exists to provide the brain with energy and help it function.

    When Alzheimer's disease develops, the brain loses its ability to create insulin. There is a blossoming promise for the ketones produced by MCT oil to potentially ease and reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, increasing cognitive function. 

    Quite a few studies have already been done on the subject and have shown significant promise.

    MCT and Liver Health

    ​Numerous studies have been done on how MCFAs, most notably in their raw form from coconuts, affect the liver and kidneys.

    There is significant evidence that MCFAs help protects your liver from damage, toxins coming into your body, or the inability to process toxins. 

    One study even concluded that MCT oil added as a dietary supplement "could be utilized as a potential treatment" for "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease."

    MCT and Inflammation

    ​Arthritis is a common illness that affects the hands and wrists most of the time. This condition is marked by inflammation of the joints, which is caused by a lack of protective cartilage tissue between the joints.

    The medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil are linked to natural anti-inflammatories, which may help reduce the inflammation of your joints and lessen arthritis pain.

    MCT and Cancer Research

    Cancer is one of the most studied medical conditions, so it's no surprise that scientists have investigated whether MCT oil may affect treating the disease.

    By elevating the ketone count, MCT oil may be effective for treating cancerous tumors in combination with standard medical treatment. 

    One study suggests this may be useful as it affects "tumor glucose metabolism and growth while maintaining the patient's nutritional status."

    Another study suggested that substituting long-chain triglycerides with medium-chain triglycerides may be highly beneficial to the body in preventing tumor growth.

    MCT and Athletic Stamina

    ​MCFAs are incredibly easy for your body to digest and provide longer, sustained energy when burned in the liver. This burning creates a thermogenic effect which increases your metabolism and converts the molecules into an energy source for your body.

    Many athletes and marathon runners will use MCT oil as a stamina booster, especially during training for long-distance events.

    MCT and Candida Yeast

    ​Candida yeast is one of the most common types of yeast and is found naturally in the human body. An overgrowth of this yeast can lead to bad breath, digestive issues, stomach cramps, rashes, or yeast infections.

    There are several antifungal products available on the market. However, over the years, there has been evidence that this yeast strain is becoming more resistant to antifungal and fungicidal medications.

    Luckily, to help combat this, scientists have taken coconut oil and conducted multiple studies on its potential antifungal properties. 

    Positive results have been concluded, and coconut oil has been shown to reduce the population of Candida yeast. It is speculated that this is due to the medium-chain triglycerides present in coconut oil, with the average coconut containing over 50% medium-chain triglycerides.

    MCT and Osteoporosis

    ​A few studies have been done on the effects medium-chain triglycerides may have on bones, specifically when it comes to osteoporosis.

    Unfortunately, while insufficient evidence provides conclusive results, MCT may help strengthen bones combined with existing osteoporosis treatments.

    MCT and Type II Diabetes

    ​Whether you've been diagnosed with Type II diabetes or are at risk for diabetes – something doctors call 'prediabetic' – MCT oil may help.

    The first sign of diabetes is when your body stops responding normally to the insulin it makes itself. This lack of response makes it hard for your body to use glucose as an energy source. This makes your cells resistant to insulin. 

    Your body responds to this by producing more insulin because it is not receiving the energy it needs, and it can create a cycle of overproduction and resistance.

    Luckily, there is evidence that the MCFAs found in MCT oil can lessen and even improve Type II diabetes and prediabetes. This is all thanks to the ketones produced when MCFAs metabolize in your liver. These ketones have shown a significant potential for inhibiting the rise of glucose in the plasma.

    MCT Oil for Skin

    MCT oil contains lauric acid, a common ingredient often used to treat certain skin diseases and conditions. Lauric acid has many antimicrobial properties that help with acne-prone skin and irritation while allowing you to maintain a healthy scalp and fight off dandruff. 

    Read on for a more detailed look at the health benefits of MCT oil for the skin.

    MCT and Skin Conditions such as Eczema, Dermatitis, and Dandruff

    ​Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is chronic skin inflammation causing it to appear red and scaly over any body part. 

    Scientists have studied multiple possibilities for "holistically" improving the condition, including positive results from virgin coconut oil.

    Virgin coconut oil was "superior to mineral oil in all objectives." Due to virgin coconut oil being composed of 50% medium chain triglycerides, it is speculated that this causes the improvement. 

    Coconut oil successfully moisturized the affected area as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory agent.

    MCT and Skin Conditions such as Eczema, Dermatitis, and Dandruff

    Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is chronic skin inflammation causing it to appear red and scaly over any body part. 

    Scientists have studied multiple possibilities for "holistically" improving the condition, including positive results from virgin coconut oil.

    Virgin coconut oil was "superior to mineral oil in all objectives." Due to virgin coconut oil being composed of 50% medium chain triglycerides, it is speculated that this causes the improvement. 

    Coconut oil successfully moisturized the affected area as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory agent.

    MCT Oil as a Moisturizer

    When used on the body, MCT oil makes a great moisturizer. It leaves your skin feeling silky and soft and is good to use after shaving. Apply the MCT oil to your skin after your shower or a bath. You can lock in the moisture it provides as you hydrate your skin.

    Since MCT fractionated oil has a lower comedogenic score, it will not clog your pores like pure coconut oil could. 

    MCT oil can also be used in aromatherapy and massage applications. The oil is the carrier for the essential oil you wish to use. MCT oil is colorless and odorless and has the ideal fat content. 

    How to Use MCT Oil for Weight Loss

    MCT oil has been shown to induce thermogenesis or heat generation, in the body. This helps you burn fat and reduce weight when you are dieting. When learning how to use MCT oil for weight loss, one of the most asked questions is when is the right time of the day to take it? 

    Taking your MCT oil for weight loss in the morning is best because it helps you burn more calories throughout the day, allowing you to lose more weight. 

    When you take it too late into the day or the evening, you may have trouble sleeping because MCT oil gives you a burst of energy. 

    MCT and Healthy Body Weight Through Appetite

    Medium-chain fatty acids, or MCFAs, are digested by the body and absorbed by the liver before they go through the intestines. In the liver, they create a thermogenic effect, creating heat and energy and essentially 'burning' stored body fat while stimulating your metabolic system.

    A study published in 1984 states that a single injection of capric acid in a rat resulted in "an initially rapid, then a gradual decrease in food consumption and parallel loss of body weight."

    This is fantastic news, especially for dieters with difficulty stopping when full. Adjusting to an appropriate level of food consumption is incredibly healthy for your body and will help you maintain a healthy body weight and appetite.

    This is thanks to capric acid's ability to improve thyroid function and assist your body in burning fats for energy.

    This fat burning is set off by breaking down fat cells, which is similar to what happens when you fast, which is good and necessary. This fasting happens when your body uses its energy stores well and speeds up the breakdown of fats it doesn't need, like excess body fat.

    Medium chain fatty acids increase your "good" cholesterol levels—HDL. These fats help convert your bad cholesterol, known as LDL, into HDL.

    Increasing the level of good cholesterol in your body helps lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, the number one leading cause of death in America.

    1 in 4 deaths in the United States is due to heart disease or other cardiovascular issues, so it's essential to understand the warning signs of a heart attack and cardiovascular problems and to take steps to prevent and treat these conditions with food and lifestyle.

    MCT and Muscle Building

    People worldwide take MCT oil to help them build muscle, whether they're bodybuilders, weight lifters, or want to get fit.

    While MCT oil suppresses excess body fat, which can help muscle growth, people have wondered if MCT oil directly aids muscle growth.

    Scientists have found a spike in HGH (Human Growth Hormones) for up to two hours after ingesting MCT oil. A natural way to spike HGH is fantastic.

    No one can completely stop the effects and signs of aging, but scientists have discovered that taking MCT oil daily may prevent the signs of early aging.

    As we age, our arteries harden and lose their previous elasticity. By taking MCT oil daily, we can help stabilize our body weight to a low, healthy baseline and positively influence these arteries, slowing the hardening and loss of elasticity.

    How to Use MCT Oil for Pulling and Tooth Decay

    Oil pulling is becoming popular in several modern countries but has been practiced for centuries in many places, such as India. Oil pulling involves taking an organic oil and vigorously swishing it in the mouth for 3-5 minutes.

    The idea behind oil pulling is that the medicinal properties and benefits of specific oils, including coconut oil, will coat the mouth and remove harmful bacteria from between teeth, under the tongue, and other places inside the mouth.

    The subject of oil pulling still needs to be researched enough to keep it from being recommended as a mainstream alternative or even an addition to modern oral hygiene practices. 

    However, many studies and overviews have analyzed the effects of oil pulling. Scientists have found positive results in tests concerning plaque and reducing the Streptococcus strain of bacteria in the mouth.

    How much MCT oil per day?

    In the United States alone, the average consumption of medium-chain fatty acids is roughly 2% of an American's fat intake, which is surprisingly low.

    Now, you may be new to adding MCT oil to your diet, or you may have been using pre-measured capsules or packets up to this point and are wondering what your dosage should be.

    Of course, results vary from person to person, and much depends on your goals, but we recommend 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil per day.

    You can add MCT oil to your diet to achieve various benefits, whether on a bulletproof or paleo diet and want the nutritional benefits or looking for something to boost your weight loss. 

    You may need some help getting into ketosis or to help you maintain your keto diet. Whatever the case, MCT is a uniquely versatile workhorse of an ingredient.

    Many studies currently available state that further research is needed to conclude a daily recommended intake of MCT oil because it is hard to establish a median dose.

    That said, we are big proponents of self-experimentation. It's amazing what you can do when you treat your body and health like a controlled experiment.

    Try a small amount each day and gauge the results. Then increase the dose slowly. Try a bit in your morning coffee or when making a Wild Butter Brew shake. Use a tsp for cooking some scrambled eggs. And so on. The options are limitless.

    With MCT oil, you have to be careful with the dose because if you are not used to taking it (especially on an empty stomach), you may experience side effects of nausea and diarrhea.

    I recommend that individuals use it with other foods since that offers a buffer to their gut and does not cause adverse side effects compared to taking the oil alone.

    MCT Oil Side Effects

    While MCT oil has several benefits, as you can see, there are still some side effects you should be aware of, mainly if you have never used it. 

    Some side effects you may experience include flatulence, diarrhea, stomach pain, and bloating. For this reason, you should start with just a teaspoon of MCT oil and then work your way up once you see how your body tolerates it. 

    If you continue experiencing gastrointestinal problems and other gut health issues, including nausea or cramping, you want to reduce the amount of MCT oil you take daily. 

    If you have liver problems or diabetes, you want to avoid using any MTC supplement because the liver processes the MCTs, which can cause severe problems in people with liver disease. 

    If you have uncontrolled diabetes, MCT oil can increase the formation of ketones and worsen complications. 

    How Do I Know My MCT Oil Is High Quality?

    ​When determining a particular MCT oil batch's purity, you can often look at the ingredients label and see the listed medium-chain triglycerides. 

    Ideally, your MCT oil won't have additives or preservatives, and the packaging should be transparent about the source of the MCFAs (whether it's coming from coconuts, palm kernel oil, or from a variety of sources.)

    Ensure that the company you buy from is reliable and has a track record of making good products all year.

    Of course, always consult your doctor before altering your diet or taking a new supplement, especially if you have or are at risk for any medical conditions.

    Try Wild MCT Oil

    Now that you understand the benefits of this amazing ingredient, you should get a bottle of Wild MCT today. It's 100% organic sourced from coconuts only. Support small farmers while supporting your health.. nothing better than that!