Health and WEllness Associates
EHS Telehealth Associative
MCT OIL vs. COCONUT Oil
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil
There’s been no shortage of coconut oil uses and treatments proven by recent research — it provides not only MCTs (especially abundant levels of lauric acid), but also antibacterial properties, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and more. The difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is that MCT oil is more concentrated and contains different proportions of MCTs. While coconut oil certainly has MCTs in it, concentrated MCT oil is almost entirely MCTs.
There are four different kinds of MCTs, which differ depending on the number of carbons there are connected to the fat molecules (this ranges between 6 to 12 carbons long). The MCTs in coconut oil are made up of about 50 percent of one kind (lauric acid), so the fact that coconut oil is mostly just one type of MCT is one reason that some people prefer concentrated MCT oils more. “MCT oils” usually have all four types of MCTs that can be difficult to get from other foods.
Coconut oil is one of the best sources of lauric acid as you can see, which many studies have shown has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Although about 90 percent of the fats found in coconut oil are saturated, a high percentage is not the very short chain MCTs that have less carbons (lauric acid has 12).
The fatty acids termed MCTs and lauric acid act somewhat differently in the body, although in the U.S., coconut oil and MCT oil manufacturers are legally allowed to claim that lauric acid is a type of MCT. Some people claim that lauric acid doesn’t biologically act like other forms of shorter MCTs (or at least as quickly), which is one reason why MCT advocates believe that MCT oil is somewhat superior.
On the other hand, coconut oil does have some well-documented health benefits that concentrated MCT oils might be lacking. The biggest drawback to buying manufactured MCT oil is that you might not really know what you’re getting. In order to produce a liquid MCT oil that does not become solid at colder temps, it might need to be more refined than regular coconut oil. MCT oil might also remove some of the very beneficial lauric acid, which is the star ingredient in real extra-virgin coconut oil.
So while some marketers of MCT oil might claim that their products contain more concentrated and diverse MCTs than real coconut oil does, it might be because they’re chemically altered and absent of lauric acid. It could even have “filler” oils like omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Another factor to consider is that most MCT oils on the market are manufactured via chemical/solvent refining, which can mean they require using chemicals like hexane and different enzymes and combustion chemicals.
The bottom line? Enjoy both coconut oil and quality MCT oil for their numerous benefits — just make sure you buy a high-quality MCT oil that clearly states what the ingredients are and how it was produced.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dir P Carrothers
Dir Personalized Healthcare
Preventative and Restorative Medicine