Using MCT Oil for Weight Loss: What To Know

Using MCT Oil for Weight Loss: What To Know


Medium-chain triglycerides, more commonly known as MCT, are a game-changer in the world of nutrition and weight management. More specifically, MCT oil has been making waves in the wellness community, and for good reason. 

This unique oil, packed with health benefits, is turning heads, especially for those on a weight loss journey. But before you start adding it to your morning coffee, it's essential to understand what MCT oil is and why it's causing such a buzz. 

Being able to support your weight loss goals while also fostering your overall wellness sounds fantastic, doesn't it? Well, that's exactly what we're going to delve into. So buckle up, and let's begin our deep dive into the world of MCT oil and its potential role in weight loss.

What Is MCT Oil?

As mentioned above, MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat, and their chain length refers to the number of carbon atoms they contain. Typically, MCTs have between six to 12 carbon atoms. The total number of these carbon atoms will influence the type of MCT. 

For instance, there are four different types of MCT: caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12). In most cases, MCT oil will feature a combination of caprylic and capric acid. These two MCTs have the lowest number of carbon atoms, which makes them the most readily absorbed and utilized by the body.

Now, before you raise an eyebrow at the thought of consuming “fat” when trying to lose weight, it's important to note that not all fats are created equal. It’s true that MCT oil is primarily made up of saturated fats, which are usually bad for you. However, MCTs have a shorter chain length than other common types of saturated fats, which makes them healthy for you.

To be more specific, MCTs are processed differently in the body than the long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) that are found in most foods. MCTs are rapidly absorbed and sent straight to the liver, where they're used as a quick energy source or turned into ketones — substances produced when the liver breaks down high amounts of fat.

Most of the time, MCT oil is extracted from coconut or palm kernel oil, as they're rich in these medium-chain triglycerides. 

How Does MCT Oil Support Weight Loss?

It might seem counterintuitive, but incorporating fats, especially MCTs, into your diet can actually aid in weight loss. How does that work? Well, let's break it down:

Enhanced Metabolism

One of the key reasons MCT oil could support your weight loss goals lies in its ability to support your metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. 

MCTs are thermogenic, meaning they have the potential to increase energy expenditure (calories burned) more than other types of fats. This enhanced metabolism isn't just limited to workout sessions but extends throughout the day, even when you're at rest. This steady calorie burning equals more potential for weight management, thus aiding your overall fitness journey.

Satiety and Reduced Calorie Intake

MCT oil could also help support feelings of fullness, which may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. When compared to other fats, MCTs have been shown to support the proper release of hormones like peptide YY and leptin, which may help promote feelings of fullness. 

It's simple — when you feel satiated, you're less likely to overeat. This can be particularly useful if you're prone to snack attacks or find it hard to control portion sizes during meals.

Gut Health and Weight Management

MCTs can also support a healthy gut environment, which plays a crucial role in weight management. Some research suggests that MCTs could positively alter your gut microbiota, promoting a more balanced and healthy gut ecosystem. 

Furthermore, a healthy gut aids digestion, nutrient absorption, and tension in the body — all key factors for maintaining a healthy weight. And a happy gut can lead to a happy weight scale!

How Can I Incorporate MCT Oil Into My Diet?

Using MCT Oil for Weight Loss: What To Know

So, we've talked about how MCT oil can potentially help in your weight loss journey, but how exactly should you incorporate it into your daily routine? Let's get into some practical tips.

Start Slow

Like any new supplement, it's crucial to start slow with MCT oil. Begin with a teaspoon per day and monitor how your body reacts. This way, you can give your body the chance to adjust, thereby minimizing potential digestive discomfort (more on that later).

Cooking With MCT Oil

One of the easiest ways to include MCT oil in your diet is by using it in your cooking. Consider adding it to your morning oatmeal, a bowl of fresh fruit, or even to your homemade granola. For lunch or dinner, you can add it to your smoothies, coffee, or salad dressings, or even use it as a drizzle over your meals. 

However, it’s important to remember that MCT oil has a low smoke point, which means it's not suitable for high-heat cooking. That said, it's a great option for no-cook recipes or as a finishing touch to your dishes!

Consistency Is Key

Like any other health supplement, consistency is crucial when it comes to MCT oil. Regular, daily intake is likely to yield the best results. So, whether it's in your morning coffee or your afternoon smoothie, make sure to incorporate it every day. You could even set a reminder on your phone until it becomes a habit!

What Are the Side Effects of Taking MCT Oil?

While MCT oil can be a fantastic addition to your wellness journey, it's important to remember that everyone's body is different and will respond in its own unique way.

Digestive Discomfort

Starting with a large quantity of MCT oil can sometimes lead to digestive discomfort, including diarrhea, vomiting, irritability, and nausea. It's all about balance.

Like we said earlier, starting small and gradually increasing your intake can help your body adjust to the change, reducing the likelihood of these side effects.

Potential Interactions

While MCT oil is generally considered safe, it's crucial to consider potential interactions with certain medications and conditions. For instance, if you have liver issues or if you are on medications that affect liver health, you may need to avoid MCT oil because it can create strain on the liver. 

This underlines the importance of discussing your supplement routine with your healthcare professional before introducing new elements into your diet.

Not a Standalone Solution

Let's be clear: MCT oil is not a magic solution to weight loss. Yes, it can support your weight management efforts by promoting feelings of fullness and providing an efficient energy source. 

However, it should be coupled with a balanced diet and regular physical activity for a holistic approach to weight management. 

The Bottom Line

To wrap things up, MCT oil can be a powerful ally in your weight loss journey, offering several potential benefits, including enhanced metabolism, increased satiety, and improved gut health. However, MCT oil should be seen as a supplement to a balanced diet and regular exercise, not a replacement.

At iwi life, we're all about supporting you on your wellness journey in a way that's good for you and good for the planet. That's why our omega-3 supplements are such a great fit for your health routine — it offers a range of health benefits, and is sustainably sourced.

To all you health enthusiasts out there — consider making MCT oil part of your journey. 

With a little patience, consistency, and the iwi life touch, you could be on your way to achieving your wellness goals.


Triglycerides of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids: A Concise Review | PMC

Potential Health Benefits of MCT Oil | Cleveland Clinic

Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Associated Lipoproteins | NCBI Bookshelf

The Diverse Nature of Saturated Fats and the Case of Medium-Chain Triglycerides: How One Recommendation May Not Fit All | NCBI Bookshelf

Applications of Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Foods | PMC

Medium Chain Triglycerides Enhances Exercise Endurance Through the Increased Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Metabolism | PMC

Food Intake and Satiety Response after Medium-Chain Triglycerides Ingested as Solid or Liquid | PMC

Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Health: The Potential Beneficial Effects of a Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet in Obese Individuals | NCBI Bookshelf

MCT Oil Benefits and Side Effects | Sci Tech Daily

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