MCT oil is said to speed up weight loss, but does it work?
In this video, Drs. Keith and Becky explain how Keith started using MCT Oil to accelerate his fat loss. As you can see from the video, this was one of our first experiments to test how his body would react to MCT oil.
MCT Oil to Accelerate Weight Loss
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. It’s a high-quality fat that comes mainly from coconut oil and it’s a great fuel for not only your body but also your brain.
MCT oil was popularized by Dave Asprey who mixed it into his coffee to make his fat-burning concoction that he calls Bullet-Proof Coffee.
In your body, MCTs are easily converted into energy, so when you take them in, most of them are burned as fuel and very few are stored as fat.
So, you can see why MCTs create quite a stir in the weight loss world.
Here we have a dietary fat, which is a very satisfying food hunger-wise that speeds up your fat-burning metabolism and doesn’t turn into body fat.
That sounds like a too-good-to-be-true claim, but there is substantial research to back up not only the weight-loss claims but also many other health benefits.
The Benefits of MCT Oil (Fat Loss & Health)
The benefits of MCTs have to do with how they are handled by your body compared to other fats.
Usually, when you eat fat from other sources, like let’s say vegetable oils, the fats go from your gut to your lymphatic system, and then into your circulation where they can be taken up by your fat cells and stored as future energy.
But MCTs go directly from your gut to your liver, which burns them up for immediate energy (1).
The benefits play out in the research.
A study done in 2003 found that men who were fed a diet rich in medium-chain triglycerides lost more fat, particularly belly fat, had greater energy expenditure and more hunger control than men fed a diet rich in long-chain triglycerides like you’d find in fats like olive oil (2).
And, MCT oils don’t just benefit men. The same lead researcher also studied women under similar conditions and found parallel fat-burning effects.
So the weight loss aspect is certainly motivational, but if you follow our 2 Fit Doc’s YouTube Channel, you know that we are not just interested in losing weight; a big motivation for us is to improve health.
Side Note: It’s also exciting to see early research that links MCT oils to your hormone balance. Dr. Becky does a lot of work with women at or near menopause. High-quality fats are important at this stage of life, particularly when it comes to menopause and belly fat.
But, for now, we want to focus on how MCTs might accelerate weight loss.
Testing MCT Oil to Speed Up Fat Loss
We decided to run an informal experiment on Keith to see if taking MCT oil each day would speed up his weight loss to see if the research matched our real-world experience.
When he started taking MCT oil, he stirred one teaspoon of MCT oil into his morning coffee. He started with a small portion for a good reason.
MCT oil can have a laxative effect if your body is not ready for it, so he wanted to start off with a small dose to see how my body reacted.
The next day, he was feeling fine, so he increased his daily dose to one tablespoon (15ml), which is three teaspoons.
Specifically, he had three cups of half-caffeine coffee throughout the morning and stirred a teaspoon of MCT oil into each cup.
His evaluation after the first couple of days was positive. He did have some weight loss, which we cannot fully attribute to the MCT Oil, and he felt good. However, a few days does not make for a sound experiment.
To give MCT Oil a good test, Keith continued with a dose of one tablespoon (15ml) of MCT oil a day for 10 days. You can read about his results in our next post: MCT Oil Weight Loss Results.
(1) St-Onge, M.-P., Bosarge, A., Goree, L. L. T., & Darnell, B. (2008). Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27(5), 547–552.
(2) St-Onge, M. P., & Jones, P. J. H. (2003). Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. International journal of obesity, 27(12), 1565.
(3) Nagao, K., & Yanagita, T. (2010). Medium-chain fatty acids: functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Pharmacological Research, 61(3), 208-212.
(4) Hauenschild, A., Bretzel, R. G., Schnell-Kretschmer, H., Kloer, H. U., Hardt, P. D., & Ewald, N. (2010). Successful Treatment of Severe Hypertriglyceridemia with a Formula Diet Rich in Omega–3 Fatty Acids and Medium-Chain Triglycerides. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 56(3), 170-175.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.