Will MCT Oil Make Me Gain Weight?

According to studies published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, using MCT oil for brief periods of time is generally safe for the majority of people. But there could be immediate negative effects, and additional research on the long-term health implications of MCT is still required, according to Jones. The following problems could be problematic:

  • Gaining weight: There are about 120 calories and 14 grammes of fat in one tablespoon of MCT oil. The extra calories could lead to weight gain if you’re adding it to your diet rather than substituting it for other sources of fat, according to Jones.
  • Heart disease: “MCT oil contains a saturated fat,” according to Jones. Too much saturated fat can increase a person’s chance of having a heart attack or stroke through raising LDL cholesterol. It is yet unclear how MCT oil specifically affects heart health. The American Heart Association advises consuming no more than 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat, which includes the kind present in red meat and French fries.
  • Digestive issues: According to studies published in Practical Gastroenterology, ingesting too much MCT oil might cause stomach pain, cramps, gassiness, bloating, and diarrhoea in some people. Experts believe that MCT can be too taxing on certain people’s digestive systems because it is digested without enzymes.

Does MCT oil cause weight gain or loss?

Dominique Fontaine, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, and Sharon O’Brien, MS, PGDip, reviewed Dominique Fontaine’s article.

November 11, 2020 update

MCT oil is a supplement that has gained popularity among bodybuilders and sportsmen. Its use has been influenced by the popularity of coconut oil, which is high in MCTs.

The oil known as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) contains triglycerides, which are medium-length chains of fat. MCTs are easier to digest than longer-chain fatty acids found in many other foods because of their shorter length.

As more than 50% of the fat in coconut oil is made up of MCTs, coconut oil is the source from which MCT oil is most frequently derived. These fats can also be present in other foods including dairy and palm oil (1).

There are four main kinds of MCTs, and caprylic and capric acids are the ones that are most frequently utilised in MCT oil. These particular varieties occasionally provide special advantages.

Here are 7 advantages of consuming MCT oil that have been supported by science.

1. MCT oil may help people lose weight.

Despite the conflicting results of recent studies, there are some possible explanations for why MCT oil might be helpful for weight loss.

Peptide YY and leptin, two hormones that might help the body feel full, have been proven to release more when MCT oil is consumed (2).

According to one study, participants who consumed 2 tablespoons of MCT oil with their breakfast consumed less food at lunch than those who consumed coconut oil (3).

The same study discovered that MCT oil had a reduced rise in triglycerides and glucose, which may also affect how full you feel.

Older research also suggested that using MCT oil could aid in lowering body weight and waist circumference. According to researchers, it might aid in the prevention of obesity (4, 5, 6).

Be aware that some of these studies fail to account for other elements like activity levels and calorie intake from other sources. More study is required.

Long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are present in foods like olive oil, almonds, and avocados, have around 10% more calories than MCT oil (7, 8).

When the intake of carbohydrates is low, the breakdown of fat results in the production of ketones, which MCTs can also be turned into.

Taking MCT oil may help you maintain the ketosis state, which is the state where your body is burning fat, if you’re on the ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbohydrates and high in fat (9, 10).

Last but not least, the environment in your gut has a significant impact on your weight. MCT oil may strengthen the intestinal lining and enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria, which could aid in weight loss (11).

By enhancing satiety, fat burning, ketone synthesis, and the environment in your stomach, MCT oil may aid in weight loss. To ascertain its effectiveness, more study is required.

2. MCT oil might be a reliable source of energy.

Long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which have more carbons in their fatty acid chains, are absorbed by the body more slowly than MCTs (7).

MCTs move from the gut to the liver more quickly because of their shorter chain length, and unlike longer-chain fats, they do not need bile to break down (12).

The liver breaks down lipids so they can either be used as fuel or stored as body fat. MCTs can be employed as a quick source of energy since they enter your cells without being metabolised (13).

MCTs can also be turned by the liver into ketones while you’re following a ketogenic diet. These ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier, supplying your brain cells with energy.

MCT oil is quickly transported and absorbed by the body. It can be transformed into ketones or used as a quick source of energy.

3. MCT may assist athletes burn fat for energy and lessen the accumulation of lactate.

Rising lactate levels during exercise might have a negative effect on performance.

In a previous study, athletes who consumed 6 grammes, or around 1.5 teaspoons, of MCTs with food before cycling had lower lactate levels and found training to be easier than those who consumed LCTs (14).

The study also discovered that ingesting MCT oil prior to exercise may encourage the body to burn more fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates.

MCT oil may boost fat burning during exercise, but research findings on whether it might improve exercise performance are conflicting (15).

A mouse study demonstrated that it could increase swimming ability, while a human study found that runners’ endurance performance did not improve (16, 17).

Another animal study’s findings indicate that MCT oil may not have a negative impact on exercise performance (18).

MCT oil may enhance fat burning while decreasing the requirement for carbohydrates during exercise. It’s not clear, though, if this results in better workout performance.

4. MCT may aid in the treatment of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy.

Studies have demonstrated that a ketogenic diet plus MCT oil may be effective in treating illnesses like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism (19).


The ketogenic diet was initially developed as a way to treat epilepsy, but it has since grown in favour among those looking to reduce weight.

Ketone production is observed to rise while fasting, and this may lower the frequency of epileptic seizures (20).

MTCs can be metabolised into ketones, which makes them potentially useful for treating epilepsy.

The MCT’s type, though, can matter. One in-vitro investigation revealed that MCT capric acid enhanced seizure control more effectively than a popular anti-epileptic medication (21).

More human trials are required, however a different study in rats demonstrated that the same MCT suppressed seizure-inducing receptors in the brain (22).

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that a ketogenic diet is not suitable for everyone and might be difficult to maintain over the long run (23).

Consult your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning a ketogenic diet to help control your epilepsy.

Does MCT oil speed up weight loss?

MCT oil, according to Brown, has been demonstrated to increase satiety. According to her, “both animal and human research indicate that MCT oil can promote satiety, leading us to eat less and, in turn, lose weight.” In fact, a Physiology & Behavior study indicated that participants who drank smoothies made with MCT oil—rather than coconut oil, vegetable oil, or other oils—after an overnight fast reported feeling the most satisfied of the three oils.

More precisely, it has been demonstrated that MCT oil increases the release of the hormones leptin and peptide YY, which contribute to increased satiety and, in turn, may help you eat less food.

What negative effects does MCT oil have?

Unless you have a heart or liver issue, either formulation should be safe when taken in small dosages. If everything is fine, you shouldn’t start sipping MCT oil or putting MCT powder in everything. Before beginning to use either one, DiMarino suggests that you speak with your doctor.

For the majority of people who are typically healthy, MCT oil would be safe in small dosages. MCTs are still fats, thus I wouldn’t suggest them to someone who has fatty liver or heart disease.

Possible side effects of MCT oil products

If MCToil is used in higher doses, according to DiMarino, adverse effects could include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. According to certain accounts, using MCT oil products over an extended period of time may cause liver fat to accumulate, the author continues.

Is daily use of MCT oil okay?

The main fats in coconut oil are known as MCTs, which are among the healthiest and most advantageous fats found in nature.

There is no excuse not to take MCT oil as there are so many advantages to it. It even doesn’t taste horrible!

enhances the absorption of current nutrients in food and additional supplements you take

due to the high fat content, can aid in weight loss and weight management (15g of saturated fat per tablespoon)

Our prefered brand of MCT oil is created by Caveman Coffee and is exceptionally pure, sustainably sourced, entirely made from coconuts, and free of palm oil. We use it so frequently and want to spread its benefits, therefore we sell it in our pro shop.

How much MCT oil ought I to consume each day?

Although there is currently no established tolerated upper intake level (UL) for MCT oil, a daily dose cap of 47 tablespoons (60100 mL) has been recommended (38).

The majority of research have utilised between 15 tablespoons (1574 mL) daily, while it is also unclear what dosage is required to get potential health advantages.

No major side effects or negative drug interactions have been recorded as of yet.

However, a few minor adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and an upset stomach, have been documented.

By beginning with tiny doses, such as 1 teaspoon (5 mL), and gradually increasing intake, these can be avoided. MCT oil can be consumed by the tablespoon once it is tolerated.

Consult a healthcare professional first if you’re thinking about including MCT oil in your daily regimen. To manage your cholesterol levels, it’s crucial to get routine blood lipid lab testing.

Type 1 diabetes and MCTs

Some sources advise against consuming medium-chain triglycerides if a person has type 1 diabetes because they cause the body to produce ketones.

High blood ketone levels are known to raise the possibility of ketoacidosis, a very hazardous illness that can affect persons with type 1 diabetes.

However, diabetic ketoacidosis, a very hazardous illness that is brought on by a shortage of insulin, is entirely distinct from the nutritional ketosis that a low-carb diet induces.

Ketone levels remain within a safe range even while a person is in a state of ketosis in those with well-controlled diabetes and healthy blood sugar levels.

Few recent studies that examine the use of MCTs in people with type 1 diabetes are currently available. However, other earlier research studies found no negative impacts (39).

Most people can safely consume MCT oil, although there are no established dosage recommendations. Increase your intake gradually after starting out with small doses.

Is MCT oil a laxative?

However, if you drink too much MCT, you could have undesirable side effects, just like with any other oil. Diarrhea is one of MCT oil’s potential side effects.

Does MCT oil function when not on a keto diet?

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MCT oil is a need for individuals who follow the ketogenic diet, but with its alleged advantages and rising popularity, you might wonder if you can take it otherwise and still gain the benefits it has to offer.

If not on a ketogenic diet, may MCT be used? To reap the rewards of MCT oil, you don’t have to be on a ketogenic diet. MCT oil can still help to reduce hunger, enhance cognition, and give you a quick source of energy whether or not you are eating carbs.

Having said that, a crucial aspect of the keto diet is boosting fat loss by reducing carb intake to the point where your body starts using fat for energy, and MCT oil helps encourage this action. This is unlikely to happen if you are eating carbohydrates, as they are your body’s primary energy source.

When you follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet, MCT oil can be an essential supplement. However, if you choose to use it and wish to do so while continuing to consume carbohydrates, be assured:

  • MCT oil is still usable.
  • To lose weight, you don’t necessarily need to use fat as energy.
  • Carbohydrate intake won’t reduce the advantages of MCT oil.

Takeaways: How to Achieve Your Fat Loss Goal

  • If this is the first time you’ve used MCT oil, start with a little amount.
  • Start with a teaspoon as your dose, then gradually increase it over a few weeks to one tablespoon.
  • If you frequently experience stomach problems, choose MCT powder because it contains acacia powder.
  • To help you eat less or skip a meal, take a dose of MCT oil at least one hour beforehand.
  • By the time you eat, you want a 0.1–0.5 mM increase in ketone levels.
  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of food, especially carbohydrates, with MCT oil as this will dull the benefit.
  • Never exceed 1 tablespoon in a dosage.
  • Aim for no more than two MCT oil doses each day.
  • If you eat breakfast, the most crucial dose is in the morning.
  • Take your first dose before your first meal of the day if you don’t have breakfast or follow a time-restricted eating schedule.
  • If you don’t eat until after 4 PM, avoid consuming the oil after that time.
  • Fasting is safe with MCT oil.
  • To help with hunger, consume up to one spoonful of the oil at once.
  • When fasting, space out your doses by six hours or more to encourage fat burning.