What advantages do oils that penetrate hair strands have over oils that only rest on top of them? While oils that seep into your hair may give shine without making you notice the oil when you run your hands over it, oils that sit on your hair can soon make it feel greasy.
- Strengthens hair: Because coconut oil includes MCTs, which protect against protein loss and damage to hair, it can strengthen hair.
- Scalp health: It has anti-fungal properties and could promote hair growth.
- Feels light: MCT-heavy oils, like coconut, permeate the hair shaft rather than just coating your strands, giving your hair a light feel.
- Adds shine: MCT oil may add shine and a healthy-looking appearance to hair that is dry.
- can soothe dandruff and an itchy scalp? Well, MCT oil might aid in restoring the health of your scalp. According to Chambers-Harris, “it has been demonstrated to alleviate dandruff and act as a natural moisturizer.”
Coconut oil vs MCTs: Which is superior?
People who follow the ketogenic diet, which is high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, are fond of MCT oil.
Your body enters nutritional ketosis, a state in which it burns fat rather than glucose for energy, as a result of a high consumption of fat and a low intake of carbohydrates.
MCT oil is more effective for ketone generation and keeping ketosis than coconut oil. Ketogenic fatty acids are those that encourage the production of ketones.
In a human investigation, caprylic acid was discovered to be approximately six times more ketogenic than lauric acid and to be three times more ketogenic than capric acid (11).
Compared to coconut oil, which has the highest content of the least ketogenic MCT, lauric acid, MCT oil has a far higher proportion of the more ketogenic MCTs.
In addition, compared to LCTs, MCTs may shorten the time it takes to enter nutritional ketosis and the symptoms it brings with it, such as irritation and exhaustion (12).
In comparison to coconut oil and LCTs, MCT oil promotes stronger feelings of fullness, which may help with fat reduction by increasing metabolism (13, 14, 15, 16).
Compared to coconut oil, MCT oil has a higher concentration of ketogenic MCTs. MCT oil has been found to increase metabolism and encourage fullness more than coconut oil.
Is daily use of MCT oil okay?
A MCT ketogenic diet provides ketones as an alternate energy source. This might improve brain cell survival. Additionally, it inhibits a brain receptor that contributes to memory loss (19).
A single dose of MCTs enhanced short-term memory in 20 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease who had a certain gene type, specifically APOE 4-negative individuals, according to one study (25).
The symptoms of mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease may be slightly improved by 20 to 70 grams of additional MCTs that contain caprylic or capric acid, even though genetic factors play a part (24).
MCT oil appears to have some positive effects on Alzheimer’s disease overall, but more extensive research is required (25).
Children with autism may also be impacted by MCT oil (26). Following a ketogenic diet for six months led to positive overall changes, according to one study (27).
For 6 of the 15 children participated in the study, adding MCTs to a ketogenic and gluten-free diet significantly reduced their autism behaviors (26).
This indicates that including MCT oil in your child’s diet may be of variable benefit or may have no impact at all. Also, more research is required in this area (28).
Consult your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning a ketogenic diet to help control your child’s autism.
Autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy sufferers may benefit from MCT oil’s ability to enhance brain function.
5. MCT has fatty acids that prevent bacterial and yeast development.
An older in-vitro study found that coconut oil, which is rich in MCTs, can slow the growth of Candida albicans by 25%. This widespread yeast can result in thrush and a number of different skin illnesses (32).
Additionally, an in-vitro investigation revealed that coconut oil inhibited the growth of the illness-causing bacteria Clostridium difficile (30).
Because MCTs contain caprylic, capric, and lauric acids, coconut oil may have the capacity to inhibit the growth of bacteria and yeast (30).
Additionally, studies on MCTs have shown that they can reduce a common infectious fungus’ growth in hospitals by up to 50%. (33).
However, take notice that in-vitro or animal studies have been used for the majority of the research on MCTs and immunological support. Before firmer findings may be drawn, high-quality human investigations are required.
Fatty acids included in MCT oil have been demonstrated to inhibit the development of yeast and bacteria. Though additional research is required, MCTs may generally have a range of antibacterial and antifungal properties.
6. MCT may lessen heart disease risk factors.
Your risk for heart disease may be increased by a number of variables, such as:
- elevated cholesterol
- systolic pressure
- weight-to-size ratio
It has been demonstrated that MCT oil supports fat and weight loss. This could ultimately lower your risk of developing heart disease (1).
In a study involving 24 obese males, it was discovered that ingesting flaxseed oil, phytosterols, and MCT oil for 29 days lowered total cholesterol by 12.5%. However, the reduction was only 4.7% when olive oil was used as a substitute (34).
The MCT oil blend was observed to improve LDL (bad) cholesterol reductions in the same study’s participants (34).
MCT oil may also aid in boosting the generation of heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol (35).
Even C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker that raises the risk of heart disease, can be greatly decreased by it (36).
Other earlier studies discovered that MCT-oil-based mixes can also reduce other heart disease risk factors (37, 38).
Weight, cholesterol, and inflammation are some of the risk factors for heart disease that MCT oil may help to lower.
7. MCT may aid in controlling blood sugar levels.
Diabetes sufferers may benefit from MCT oil as well (39). MCTs have been proven to boost fat burning and decrease fat storage, which can help with the management of the condition (40).
When compared to those who took maize oil containing LCTs, a small, earlier trial of 40 persons with diabetes indicated that those who regularly drank MCT oil experienced decreases in body weight, waist circumference, and insulin resistance (39).
Another research discovered that when 10 diabetics received insulin injections, they required 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when consuming MCTs as opposed to LCTs (41).
MCTs did not, however, have any impact on lowering fasting blood sugar levels, according to the same study (41).
As a result, additional variables like time and calorie intake may affect how MCT oil works.
MCT oil may be able to manage diabetes by enhancing fat burning and decreasing fat accumulation. It might also aid in blood sugar control.
MCT may stimulate the release of hunger hormones
MCTs may boost the production of hormones that make you feel fuller for longer periods of time, but they may also increase the release of hormones that make some individuals feel hungry (2, 43, 44).
MCTs were found to boost the production of the hormones ghrelin and neuropeptide Y, which are responsible for promoting hunger, in a study involving individuals with anorexia (45).
More of these hormones were created by those who consumed more than 6 grams of MCTs per day than by those who consumed less than 1 gram.
It’s not clear, though, if the rise in these hormones makes you eat more.
High doses could lead to fat buildup in the liver
Long-term use of high dosages of MCT oil may result in an increase in liver fat.
In a 12-week investigation on mice, it was discovered that eating a diet with 50% MCTs increased liver fat. It’s interesting to note that the same study also discovered that MCTs improved insulin resistance and decreased overall body fat (46).
Remember that excessive amounts of MCT oil, as those in the study above, are not advised. In general, additional study is required to determine the long-term effects of MCT oil.
There is presently no established upper intake limit for MCT oil (UL). But a healthy upper limit for a daily intake has been proposed as being between 4 and 7 tablespoons (60 to 100 mL) (47).
Although they typically only account for approximately 510% of your daily caloric intake, MCTs are high in calories. You should include MCT oil in your overall fat consumption, not as a separate source of fat, if you’re aiming to maintain or lose weight.
The increased release of hunger hormones caused by MCT oil may result in eating more food. Long-term use may also result in your liver storing more fat.
They include fatty acids that may help you lose weight by decreasing body fat, increasing feeling of fullness, and possibly enhancing the environment in your gut.
In addition to providing energy, MCTs may prevent the growth of bacteria, safeguard your heart, and help you manage diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and autism.
However, keep in mind that compared to supplements, whole food sources might offer more advantages.
Increased appetite and potential hepatic fat storage are two possible negative effects.
Consult your physician or a nutritionist about the advantages and disadvantages of include MCT oil in your diet.