How would you like more energy, for your brain and body, less hunger and reduced cravings? Read on.
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. It is derived from coconut oil and sometimes palm kernel oil. To have therapeutic effects it must be at least ninety percent caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10).
MCT oil has been in use for at least eighty years. It is beneficial for people who don't absorb fats well, as it is absorbed in a more efficient manner than other fats.
It's therapeutic uses include:
- pancreatic insufficiency
- liver cirrhosis
- permeable bowel, or leaky gut
- lymphatic congestion
- surgical stress
- cystic fibrosis
More commonly it is used for sports endurance and weight loss. It is very beneficial as an energy source in a ketogenic diet, a therapeutic diet that is 70-80 percent fat and 5-10 percent carbs.
In the 1930's doctors at the Mayo Clinic discovered that a ketogenic diet was very effective at controlling seizures in children. MCT oil was used as the primary energy source for these children. There is approximately a twenty percent increase in blood flow to the brain when it is being fueled by ketones (energy units from fat) rather than glucose. When the children went off the diet, seizures returned.
More recently it is being used in Alzheimer's dementia. Dr. David Perlmutter, the neurologist who wrote the recent best-seller “Grain Brain,” says that there is no meaningful treatment for Alzheimer's in conventional medicine. However, MCT's have helped some Alzheimers patients significantly. See coconutketones.com for the case history of Steve Newport, who developed Alzheimers in his 50's. He deteriorated rapidly, none of the drugs helped him. His wife, a medical doctor, Mary Newport, found that a combination of coconut oil and MCT oil improved her husband's cognitive health significantly. Reversals in Alzheimers such as this are virtually unheard of.
Alzheimers is sometimes called Diabetes Type Three. It is characterized, in part, by insulin resistance in brain cells, making them unable to take in sufficient glucose, eventually killing these cells. However insulin resistant brain cells can use ketones for energy. Ketones are energy units from fat. MCT oil is especially high in ketones. Steve Newport, later said that with his first spoonful of coconut oil, it was as if a “light came back on in his brain.”
Many people have some degree of insulin resistance. It can lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and for some Alzheimers. Because these people cannot effectively manage carbohydrates, fats, including MCT oil can serve as better energy sources as long as carbohydrate intake is reduced.
The literature on MCT oil often describes it as “tissue sparing.” What does that mean? It does not mean saving Kleenex, tissue refers to the stuff we are made of, muscle, bone, ligaments, tendons and organs. It means that it helps to prevent hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which is really part of a condition called “dysglycemia,” or unstable blood sugar. Sugar and starch lead to elevations in blood sugar, followed by surges in insulin, which can lead to reactive hypoglycemia. The reactive hypoglycemia is perceived as a survival issue, if blood sugar is allowed to continue to fall, our adrenal glands secrete cortisol, which signals the liver to release stored sugar, called glycogen, and to break down lean body mass to turn into sugar, Tissue Wasting.
Consequences of Tissue Wasting
Cortisol, as a “catabolic” hormone, can break down any tissue in the body except the liver. Tissue wasting is part of the osteoporosis picture – loss of collagen can cause joint pain, bone loss, eye diseases, and the loss of the collagen layer in arteries is a cause of vascular inflammation, leading to heart disease and stroke.
The erosion of muscle, tendons and ligaments often leads to increased risk of injury, as well as chronic joint pain and back pain, and slow recovery from injury and illness.
The loss of lean body mass as we age, to some extent, is normal. But more rapid loss aggravated by hypoglycemia, speeds aging and the onset of degenerative diseases.
MCT oil can play a vital role in countering the effect of hypoglycemia and providing a source of readily usable energy for the brain and body.
As we become more “fat adapted” by reducing sugars and starches and increasing dietary fats, we experience less hypoglycemia and the resulting tissue wasting.
How to Use MCT Oil
- Start with a teaspoon morning and mid-day. Gradually increase to two or more tablespoons daily.
- Can be taken straight up, or added to foods, as salad dressings or in beverages.
- Make Bulletproof Coffee, or tea, adding 1-3 tablespoons of pasture butter and 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil.