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What Is MCT Oil? Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

What is MCT Oil

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride.  As its name suggests, it consists of medium-length chains of triglycerides (fats). Commonly MCT is extracted from coconut oil, as more than 50% of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs. Because MCT’s fatty chains are quite short in length compared to other fats, they are easily digested by the body. Therein lies the secret to their success.

Unlike long-chain triglycerides, which are found in most other foods, your body metabolizes these shorter fat chains differently. You see, fats have two predominant functions – being used and burned up for energy or stored in our bodies as ‘reserved energy’ or body fat. Because of MCT’s shorter chains, it’s more easily metabolized and absorbed into the body.

This easy absorption means they go to work in your liver pretty much immediately to be used as an instant source of energy. They can also be converted into ‘ketones’, which are produced when the liver breaks down a large amount of fat.

Again, unlike regular fatty acids, ketones can provide energy to both the body and brain (which usually uses glucose for energy).

The thing is, MCTs are more efficiently converted to energy and used by the body. That means they’re less likely to be stored as fat.

There are several potential benefits of MCT oil.

  • MCT can be converted into energy for both the body and brain.

  • MCT contains fatty acids that combat bacteria and yeast growth. Its ability to reduce yeast and bacterial growth may be due to the caprylic, capric and lauric acids. The benefits of this are wide-reaching, but again more studies are needed.

  • MCT may help manage epilepsy – It has been found that increased levels of ketone may reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. And, because MCT is easily converted into ketone, it may help in this area.

  • MCT may truly help us lose weight. It turns out that MCT makes us feel full. It has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin. Because your body processes MCT differently than other fats, more of it is used immediately rather than being stored. This is great news for our waistlines, but the consequences are much more tantalizing than this – losing weight can help reduce heart disease and help manage diabetes.

You may well have seen them gracing the same shelf in your local wellness store. You may have heard them used when the hot topic of wellness comes up, or even athletic performance and recovery.

So one thing that these two definitely have in common is that they are both used for general health support. But, it might be easier to look at the many ways in which they differ.

MCT OilCBD Oil
Used for nutritional purposes and as a carrier oil.Used for therapeutic purposes.
Comes from Coconut or palm oil.Extracted from the hemp plant.
MCT is a fatty acid easily absorbed by the body and is used as a nutritional and dietary supplement.CBD works by interacting with our endocannabinoid system and helping to support its functioning.
MCT may help us lose weight, increase energy, and exercise more effectively.CBD may help regulate anxiety, sleep, and inflammation.

However different they are individually though, there’s something very special about the combination of MCT and CBD. As we’ve already seen, MCT oil can be used as a carrier oil, and CBD requires a carrier oil to help preserve the potency and delivery of the active compounds contained within it.

When MCT is used as the carrier oil for the CBD we take, it’s helping it work more effectively while providing its own excellent benefits. The combination is thought to have many benefits….

  • Improved Bioavailability of CBD: When you ingest CBD, it’s absorbed through the digestive system. During this process, some of the CBD may be lost and not properly absorbed into our bodies. MCT oil helps to improve the rate of absorption. This is because it doesn’t require stomach acid to be broken down by the body. This helps to maximize the effects of CBD by allowing you to get more out of each dose.
  • Longer Shelf Life of CBD: Most fat-based products have a longer shelf life than products made of protein or carbohydrates. Oils tend to take much longer to expire, and so using an MCT as a carrier oil can help keep your CBD effective for longer.

So now that we’ve looked at the many benefits, is there anything you need to know before using it as a dietary supplement or a way to maximise your exercise routine? Well, luckily, the side effects appear to be quite minimal and seem to disappear after your body gets used to having it in your diet. 

However, the first few days of use might be accompanied by digestive upset such as diarrhoea and nausea. As with any supplement, it’s important to only buy well-respected and best quality products to avoid contact with contaminants.

MCT is super versatile and can be added to all kinds of recipes like smoothies, pasta sauces, salad dressings, or even take it straight. As it’s tasteless and odourless, you have free creative reign! However, because of MCT’s low smoke-point, it’s best not to add it to baked goods.

You can also add MCT to your diet through a CBD oil which uses MCT as a carrier oil.

We are Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD provider. Backed by science, and built on the principles of traceability, transparency & trust, we are dedicated to improving the health & wellness of people around the world. We are proud to be one of the only companies to guarantee full traceability from seed to shelf with our premium range of CBD products, tested by third-party, independent quality control analysts.

Date Uploaded: May 24, 2020
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

Jane, Mary. “MCT Oil 101 – a Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 21 May 2016, www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-101.

Nosaka, Naohisa, et al. “Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate- and High-Intensity Exercise in Recreational Athletes.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, vol. 55, no. 2, 1 Apr. 2009, pp. 120–125, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19436137/, https://doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.55.120. Accessed 22 Sept. 2021.

“Potential Health Benefits of MCT Oil.” Cleveland Clinic, health.clevelandclinic.org/mct-oil-benefits. Accessed 10 Jan. 2024.

Thevenet, Jonathan, et al. “Medium-Chain Fatty Acids Inhibit Mitochondrial Metabolism in Astrocytes Promoting Astrocyte-Neuron Lactate and Ketone Body Shuttle Systems.” FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, vol. 30, no. 5, 1 May 2016, pp. 1913–1926, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26839375/, https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.201500182. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

Keep out of sight or reach of children.