By Lace / August 11, 2018
coconuts-mct-oil

5 MCT Oil Health Benefits + Side Effects No One is Talking About!

Wondering what the health benefits of MCT Oil and how using it could benefit you? Curious about the potential side effects of MCT Oil before taking the plunge? You're not alone, I have been discovering MCT Oil recently as I prepared to try it. So, in this post I share 5 MCT Oil health benefits AND give the lowdown on the side effects. Including the more alarming side effects you ought to be aware of before taking the plunge with this powerful supplement.

If you don't already know MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides also known as Medium chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs). These fatty acids are gaining popularity in the natural health world. They provide a plethora of health benefits and occur in most prolifically in human breast milk! MTC oil however, is derived from coconuts and provides the second highest concentration of MTCs. So, you don't need a lactating woman to appreciate MTCs! We've rounded up 5 awesome health benefits of taking MCTs as part of your diet and what to watch out for if you decide to take it. 

As I mentioned, MCT Oil comes from coconuts and just about everybody with an inkling about natural health will be aware how wonderful coconuts are for health. MCT Oil containsthe isolated isolated fatty acids in coconuts, namely - caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10) and lauric acid (C12). These fatty acids are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and liver providing a fast yet, sustainable energy for brain and body.

The problem is, it's hard to get sufficient MCTs from modern diets and agricultural practices. Inferior quality MCT oils contain fillers, unsustainable palm oil and other crap no one benefits from eating. Too much MCT Oil too quickly could upset your stomach and make your ass drop out! Not literally, but you may experience a case of "the runs" if you take too much. You may also experience anxiety, increased heart rate and other alarming side effects that are less spoken about and we will be getting to them down the page! First lets check out the health benefits MCT Oil has to offer us mortals.

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1. Enhanced Brain Function

mtc oil boosts energy

MTC Oil (and Coconut Oil) is known for its brain function enhancing qualities. MCTs specifically are often described as octane for the brain. Why? Because MCT energy is delivered almost instantly energy your cells. The effect is increased mental clarity and sharper cognitive function. Small studies like this Spanish one, documents coconut oil as positively influencing cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, this small study over 24 weeks found that MCTs enhanced cognitive function in those with mild cognitive impairment. Whereas those who took the placebo presented no change. These studies beg the question:  Could adding MCTs and/or coconut oil assist in the prevention of cognitive degeneration or even reverse mild impairment? Despite the small scale of these studies the positive findings must warrant further investigation.

So, if enhancing mental clarity and cognitive function is your goal adding MCTs to your diet can help you boost brain function and health. Try it in your morning a smoothie or as a dressing on your salad. Check out my post on magnesium for more on natural brain boosting. 

Summary: 

  • MCTs and Coconut Oil boost brain function
  • Improves mental clarity 
  • Studies found supplementing MCTs improved cognitive impairment
  • Potential to support those with neurological disease

2. Seizures & Epilepsy 

mct oil for seizures

Many of the naturally health inclined may immediately think cannabis oil when thinking about healing epilepsy naturally. The problem is cannabis illegal in most countries, including the UK (Absolutely nothing to do with the fact it heals hundreds of health problems I'm sure!). MCT Oil with its range of brain health benefits indicates it may be a legal option worth researching when approaching seizures and epilepsy. 


One case study reports of an 43 year old man who achieved remarkable reduction in epileptic seizures using MCT oil. The chap in question, had found no relief from big pharmas offerings, so, he took things into his own hands. He began supplementing with 4 tbsp MCT oil, twice daily. That's a pretty large dose but even so, he went from having multiple seizures a day to ONE every 4 days. Quite remarkable results by any ones standards. How is no one talking about this?! Might I just add, I'm NOT advocating anyone makes any changes to their diet or medication without consulting with their health care provider. There absolutely needs to be further research done in this area and I suspect Big Pharma won't like it.

Summary: 

  • Cannabis Oil has Been Used to Help Seizures BUT is Illegal in Most Countries 
  • MCT Oil Contains Fatty Acids & is Fuel for the Brain
  • MCT Oil Significantly Reduced Epileptic Seizures in 43 Year Old Man
  • More Research Needed 
Perfect MCT Oil, 100% Organic (30 ounces) Bottle Image 300x300

Perfect MCT Oil, Oragnic and from 100% Sustainable Coconuts!

3. Weight Management

mct oil promotes weight loss

The weight loss world is raving about MCT Oil and it's easy to see why. MCT Oil provides energy that is available for instant use rather than stored as fat and encourages calorie burning. As we know, maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of heart disease, stoke, type 2 diabetes and many other health problems. Weight loss in itself can be very beneficial to overall health and MCTs can help with this.

Weight management clinical studies have shown taking MCTs enhances weight loss and aids fat loss. A 16 week study that compared to Long Chain Triglycerides (LTCs), in this case Olive Oil consumption to Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) consumption for weight loss. MCTs caused increased energy expenditure and trial participants lost more weight than those who took olive oil. At the end of the trial participants who had added MCTs to their balanced diet had lost more belly fat and lost more weight overall than their Oilve Oil consuming counterparts. Some researchers are still sceptical about MCTs weight loss enhancing capabilities, this 2015 meta analysis calls for more research from bigger trials (requiring more funding, I wonder which big pharma company will be backing it with their billions?) although they do agree MCTs could promote weight loss. 

Summary: 

  • MCT Oil Energy isn't Stored as Fat
  • Increases Body's Fat Burning Capacity
  • Reduces Belly Fat 
  • Helps with Weight Loss and Maintaining Healthy Weight

4. Balances Cholesterol 

mct oil balances cholesterol

Folks who take coconut oil or MCT Oil tend to find their cholesterol levels rise. Oh no, that's bad right? Well, apparently not. It seems cholesterol is somewhat misunderstood and having high cholesterol doesn't automatically mean you are heading for heart disease. The important thing to bare in mind is the RATIO of LDLs ("bad" cholesterol) to HDLs ( "good" cholesterol). Having a 3 to 1 HDLs to ADLs is awesome and healthy regardless of the total number. This ratio is determined by a Particle Test and interestingly, isn't the test most doctors will give as a first choice despite standard tests being outdated. For useful cholesterol profile readings insist on a Particle Test (a test that gives cholesterol ratio profiles) . Dr. Hyman's video below gives a succinct insight into cholesterol and coconut oil if you wanna hear it from a Doc! MCT Oil increases both types of cholesterol but in harmony, keeping the 'bad' cholesterol in balance with the good, therefore REDUCING the risk of heart attack, disease and stroke. Balance is the key to good health and this is just as true with cholesterol. Again, I'm not suggesting you make any changes to your current medication though. Always consult your health care provider first. 

Summary: 

  • MCT Oil can Balance Cholesterol Ratios 
  • Some People Notice a Rise in Cholesterol Levels Overall
  • Its the Ratios of LDLs to HDLs that's Important
  • MCTs Lower Risk of Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke

5. Supporting Gut Health

mct oil for digestive health

As I mentioned earlier, MCTs are absorbed directly into the blood stream. This makes them easy on the digestive tract and especially useful if you are missing your gallbladder. This fast easy absorption is also ideal for those dealing with leaky gut and digestive disturbances like Crohns. MCTs also have antimicrobial and antiviral properties this promoting balance of the delicate gut microbiota.  A nutritional study on MCTs and obesity published in 2016 noted that MCTs have the capability to remodel gut microbotia. This is a sure indication that what we eat most certainly DOES affect our health. So hospitals, as I've been saying for years: you really need to up their game when it comes to hospital meals! Good nutrition is key to good health. Anyhow, the study participants digestion was markedly improved and the study concluded MCTs positively impacted gut microbiota either on their own or in addition to pre and probiotic supplements.

Summary: 

  • MCTs Promote Gut Health
  • Antimicrobial and Antiviral Properties
  • Easy on Digestion and the Gut
  • Absorbed Directly into the Bloodstream

Side Effects You Need to Know About

mct oil side effects

So, we've heard about the good stuff MCTs have to offer but what about the side effects? Like most things in life, too much of anything is bad for you. When it comes to MCT oil less is definitely more. The most commonly known side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and an explosive ass, commonly called diarrhoea. These effects seem to be a problem when large doses of MCT Oil are taken without preparing the body first. The way to avoid digestive upset with MCT oil is to start small, heed the suggested serving information and build up as required. But enough on that, it's the side effects that are much less talked about I want to share here. I think it's important to be aware of the darker side effects  of MCT Oil as part of the decision making process of choosing to supplement with it. 

Conversations about anxiety and heart palpitations from MCT Oil use are occurring on forums discussing BulletProof Coffee. What is Bulletproof Coffee you ask? It's a high performance coffee drink made popular by American entrepreneur Dave Asprey. The ingredients include up to 2 tablespoons of  "Brain Octane" MCT Oil.  Two tablespoons is quite a large dose and enough to make your ass drop out if you haven't build your tolerance beforehand. But diarrhoea seems to be the least their problems. MCT Oil  side effects being reported include elevated levels of anxiety, heart palpitations and even full on panic attacks. I don't know the dose of MCT Oil these folks but I would say if you experience this it'd be wise to stop. In light of this,  MCT Oil may not be a good choice for those with existing anxiety, arrhythmia or panic disorders. If you decide to try MCT Oil then starting SMALL is probably a very good idea while listening to your body. It'll tell you everything you need to know, if you pay attention.

Summary: Potential Side Effects

  • Upset stomach/pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks 
  • Start small when using MCTs

The Bottom Line 

MTC Oil appears to have a range of potential health benefits, from supporting digestive health to enhancing brain function. It shows promise for booting the cognitive function in those with cognitive impairment  which indicates it could be helpful for cognitive degeneration such as Alzheimers. On the flip side supplementing will MTCs doesn't come without potential side effects of nausea, upset stomach and diarrhoea, heart palpitations and anxiety. Starting with small doses of MCTs may avoid these side effects, however, it may not be a good fit for those with preexisting conditions along those lines. It all depends on the individual taking it because we're all different after all. If you do decide to add MCT Oil into your diet then monitoring tolerance and building up as needed should provide a beneficial experience and enhance health.  Wondering where we go from here? I'm braving it and giving MCT Oil a go so I can share my all the gory details with you! Stay tuned to get all the goss when I spill the beans about my personal experience with MCT Oil.

Which MCT Oil is Worth Trying?

Well, I've tested Perfect MCT Oil - ONE ingredient and 100% organic. But did it deliver? Find out in my Perfect MCT Oil Review!

Do you include MTC oil in your diet? Holla if you have personal experience of MTC oil benefits or side effects? Let me know below and don't forget to share!

About the author

Lace

Wife, mother and natural health and wellness enthusiast. When I'm not dabbling in natural stuff, I like to eat brie with onion chutney and mull over a good "coincidence" theory. Cooking up a nutritious storm, books with real pages and being barefoot are a few of my favourite things.

  • Tammy says:

    Hello Lace,

    Great information on the use of MCT Oil. I personally eat 2 TBSP of coconut oil a day and also feed it to my dogs. It really gives me great energy to get through my day. I wasn’t aware of some of the other benefits you mentioned. I’ve tried to turn this on to others, but they think they will just be eating pure fat. I’ll send them this article so maybe they will convert. 🙂

    • Lace says:

      Thanks Tammy! Sounds like you and your doggies are enjoying the benefits coconut oil brings. I think fats are hugely misunderstood, we NEED fats to survive,just not the crappy ones processed food and deep fried stuff provides. Absolutely, share the love of healthy fats and send your friends my way! Thanks for stopping by.

  • steven says:

    Hi Lace!

    Great article and awesome website! I’ve been using coconut oil for quite awhile and love it for many reasons. I’ve seen the MCT oils pop up at my local Whole Foods store and I’ve been quite curious about them. I’ve never had any of the mentioned side affects with coconut oil. I’ll keep you posted onve I’ve given the MCT’s a try!

    • Lace says:

      Hi Steve, thanks for your comments. It’s true, I’ve never heard of these side effects with coconut oil, perhaps because the MCTs are not as concentrated as they are in MCT Oil? I’ve had some interesting experiences with MCTs I’ll be sharing soon. Would love to hear your feedback on em when you try it!


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