MCT oil has been gaining popularity as a dietary supplement for its potential health benefits, including improved cognitive function and weight management.
But what about kids? Can they benefit from MCT oil too? And if so, how much should they take?
In this article, we’ll explore the use of MCT oil for children and provide some guidelines on dosing. Whether you’re a parent looking to boost your child’s health or a healthcare provider seeking information on MCT oil for pediatric patients, read on to learn more.
How Much MCT Oil For Kids?
When it comes to giving MCT oil to kids, it’s important to start with a small dose and gradually increase it over time. This is because children’s bodies may not be used to processing MCT oil, and too much too soon can cause digestive discomfort.
A good starting point is 1/4 teaspoon of MCT oil per day for children under the age of 12. For children over 12, you can start with 1/2 teaspoon per day. After a few days, you can gradually increase the dose by 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon every few days until you reach the desired amount.
The recommended daily dose of MCT oil for children is up to 1 tablespoon per day, depending on their age and weight. It’s important to note that MCT oil should not be used as a replacement for other dietary fats, as it does not contain all of the essential fatty acids needed for good health.
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a type of oil made from medium-chain triglycerides, which are a type of fatty acid found in certain foods like coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and some dairy products. MCTs are metabolized differently in the body than other fats, and they are easily digested. Unlike other fats, which take much longer to process, MCTs do not require bile acids to be broken down and they go directly to the liver making them a quick source of energy for the body. MCTs can be turned into ketones which can cross the blood brain barrier and be used as a rapid energy source for the brain.
MCT oil is safe for use in children with autism and epilepsy. For both conditions, a therapeutic MCT diet has been shown to improve symptoms. The ketogenic/MCT diet used for children with epilepsy is not the same as ketogenic diets promoted for weight loss in adults. MCT diets for kids with autism or epilepsy should be followed under the guidance of a dietitian or doctor.
MCT oil contains caprylic acid, a medium chain fatty acid that has been shown to help lower the risk of antibiotic resistance and soothe inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis and Crohn’s. It is important to note that MCT oil should not be used as a replacement for other dietary fats, as it does not contain all of the essential fatty acids needed for good health.
MCT oil can be found in various forms, including 100% MCT oil or a mixture of MCT and LCT (long-chain triglycerides). The way people get MCT oil from coconut or palm kernel oil is through a process called fractionation where the MCT is separated from the original oil and concentrated.
Benefits Of MCT Oil For Kids
MCT oil has numerous benefits for kids, making it a great addition to their diet. One of the main benefits is its ability to boost metabolism, which can be especially helpful for kids who struggle with a naturally slower metabolism. Even just a little bit of MCT oil can provide a big boost without the need for extreme exercise routines or special diets.
Another benefit of MCT oil is its ability to act as a natural antiviral and antibiotic. MCTs derived from mother’s milk have been found to have antimicrobial effects in the gut tract of newborn children, which helps them develop a functional immune system that is not vulnerable to pathogens and autoimmunity. MCTs have also been shown to reduce the growth of certain fungi and harmful bacteria and viruses.
MCT oil may also help improve exercise performance by reducing lactate buildup and potentially increasing fat burning during exercise. While study results are mixed as to whether MCT oil can help improve endurance performance, it could potentially be beneficial in this area.
Lastly, MCT oil may have cognitive benefits for kids by helping their bodies make ketones, an energy source for the brain that doesn’t rely on carbs. While it may not provide a long-lasting brain boost, it could potentially be helpful for kids with cognitive disorders.
Is MCT Oil Safe For Kids?
MCT oil is generally considered safe for children when used in moderation. However, it’s important to talk to your child’s pediatrician before adding MCT oil to their diet, especially if they have any underlying health conditions.
MCT oil has been found to have antimicrobial effects and can help with digestive problems, seizures, diabetes, autism, neurological disorders, and heart disease. However, there are no set guidelines on how much MCT oil children should consume, and too much can cause digestive discomfort.
It’s also important to note that MCT oil is not a source of essential fatty acids or fat-soluble vitamins. Therefore, it should not be used as a replacement for other dietary fats that contain these essential nutrients.
When giving MCT oil to children, it’s best to start with a small dose and gradually increase it over time. Always consult with your child’s pediatrician before adding any new supplements or dietary changes to their routine.
Tips For Incorporating MCT Oil Into Your Child’s Diet
If you’re looking to incorporate MCT oil into your child’s diet, here are some tips to make it easier:
1. Start small: As mentioned earlier, start with a small dose and gradually increase it over time. This will help your child’s body adjust to the new addition to their diet.
2. Mix it in: MCT oil can be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or other foods your child enjoys. This will make it easier for them to consume without noticing any taste or texture differences.
3. Use it in cooking: MCT oil can be used as a replacement for other oils in cooking and baking. It can be used for sautéing vegetables or as a replacement for butter in recipes.
4. Consult with a healthcare professional: If your child has any medical conditions, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating MCT oil into their diet. A dietitian or doctor can help you determine the appropriate dosage and ensure that it’s safe for your child.
By following these tips, you can easily incorporate MCT oil into your child’s diet and reap the potential benefits it offers for their health and wellbeing.
Potential Side Effects Of MCT Oil In Children
While MCT oil is generally safe for children, it can cause some potential side effects. The most common side effects of MCT oil in children include stomach upset, such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and stomach pain. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own after a few days.
In rare cases, high doses of MCT oil can lead to liver and kidney damage in premature infants with low body weight. This is due to the deficiency of carnitine resulting from long-term feeding with formulas containing a high proportion of MCT. In such cases, supplementation with carnitine should be considered.
It’s important to start with a small dose of MCT oil and gradually increase it over time to avoid any potential side effects. If your child experiences any gastrointestinal problems like cramping or nausea, reduce the dose or stop using MCT oil altogether.
If you have any concerns about giving MCT oil to your child, it’s best to consult with their doctor before starting any new supplement regimen. They can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and monitor any potential side effects.