“You’re searching, for things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings. Ends & Beginnings – there are no such things. There are only Middles.” I am not sure if I agree with the writer, but I do agree that more often than not the middle is the more important part. The connection, the better aspect, even if we don’t realize it. Just like so many of us never realized that when it comes to dietary fat there is MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides). Most of us present company not excluded, imagined them as Long-chain triglycerides, or the short-chain triglycerides. But there is a new concept in town – MCT.
Triglycerides are a type of fat that is used by the body as energy. MCT (medium-chain Triglyceride) is made up of about 6-12 carbon atoms. They are mostly man-made, as they are sourced from coconut oil (a most common source for it). They are also present in Palm kernel Oil, Dairy products like – butter, whole milk, cheese. What’s the big deal, well unlike long-chain triglycerides, MCT is more easily absorbed by the body, goes straight to liver from stomach and can be directly used for energy without actually having to store fat. Additionally, they are broken down into ketones which can be used by body and brain for functioning instead of sugar and glucose. This process of using ketones as an energy source is called ketosis.
As is the custom for relatively less known items, with few preliminary researches many tall claims about their benefits or side-effects are made. MCT is no different when you look it up below mentioned statements are presented:
- Due to the process of ketosis, and the fact their calories are rarely stored as fats, adding MCT to your diet proves beneficial for weight loss. It releases two hormones that provide the feeling of satiety – peptide and leptin, which assist with reducing weight further. However in some people, it can also lead to the release of hunger hormones neuropeptide, so you may want to keep that in mind.
- Some preliminary studies show that MCT can prove beneficial against conditions like Alzheimer & dementia by providing the brain with a new energy source ketone rather than sugar. It also blocks a memory loss causing receptor, hence aiding brain function. When followed along with a ketogenic diet (based more on fat rather than carbs) it can help people manage their epilepsy better by reducing the frequency of attacks.
- Many places advertise that health enthusiasts find it useful, as it helps burn more calories & fats during workout. Some even say that people consuming MCT have better performance while exercising by reducing lactate levels and using fat rather than carbs as fuel.
- A study on coconut oil proved they are useful against fighting yeast and bacterial infections. But that was coconut oil not specifically MCT.
- There is also talk that MCT helps in managing blood sugar levels especially in people with Type 2 diabetes. It supports lowering LDL, obesity by increasing fat burning and reducing fat storage.
The story goes on, and at a glance, MCT surely sounds like a gem, the right medium to carry health. However one must not forget that at the end of the day it’s a fat and is supposed to be used as a supplement and not as cooking oil or in excess. It can be added to salad, smoothies and is often given to patients with digestive issues via IV.
The long and short of this medium-chain triglyceride is, so far so good and after a consultation with your doctor, it can be a part of your story’s middle.