Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils are rich in a type of fatty acid that is more easily digested than other fatty acids. The body burns MCTs immediately, which provides a quick energy boost since they're not converted to and stored as fat. These fatty acids can be found in a number of foods, but the richest sources by far are coconut and palm oil.
Unlike the typical long-chain fatty acids that make up most other types of fats, MCTs do not have to be broken down or absorbed by the digestive system. The body can process them more like a carbohydrate and employ them for instant energy. Unlike carbohydrates, however, there is not a point at which you can consume an excess amount, which would then result in a conversion to storing the substance as fat.
It is important to note that this describes MCTs taken on their own, as with an isolated supplement. Natural food sources, such as coconut and palm oil, contain more than just MCTs (see Food Sources and Disadvantages below for further dietary information on natural MCT sources).
MCT oil is interesting for a number of obvious reasons. They provide a quick source of energy for workouts and athletic performance, and they're a good dietary substitute for other types of fats. But MCTs also have a wide range of established medical uses. They're used for nutritional support by people who have trouble digesting more complex fats, as well as for celiac, liver, and gallbladder disease. There is some preliminary research indicating that MCTs may also be beneficial for Alzheimer's disease, but the evidence is not yet conclusive.
Update: MCT Oil boosts Ketone levels for keto dieters
In 2017, Mike began the keto diet, so he started putting various Keto Supplements to the test. This includes MCT oil, which, when slightly keto-adapted, put him further in ketosis due to ketogenesis! Watch how and why this happened in the video below:
MCT Oil Benefits
Fat burning and weight loss
Overall, MCT oil has been consistently found to be an asset to burning fat and managing weight. A 2010 summary of research to date found that MCTs increase fat oxidation, boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and beneficially alter body composition.
Exercise and athletic performance
The benefit of MCT oil for fitness depends on what your primary goals are. Unfortunately, the same summary of research that found MCTs were great for weight loss also found that they didn't really provide any particular benefit to workouts or athletic performance. So if you're looking to put on muscle or increase cardiovascular endurance in a race, the evidence doesn't point to it being. However, if your primary fitness goal is weight loss, some MCT oil mixed into your pre-workout supplement can help increase your metabolism.
The body burns MCTs immediately, which provides a quick energy boost.
MCT oil is not regulated by the FDA and has no established recommended daily allowance (RDA). If taking pure MCT oil as a supplement, the manufacturer's standard dosage is usually about 15ml (for liquid) or 1000mg (for caplets), 1 to 3 times daily.
Pure MCT oil (with no other ingredients) is available as a supplement in caplet or liquid form. If you intend it as a dietary substitute for other fats (such as drizzling it over popcorn or salad), it's probably better to buy the liquid.
Supplement manufacturers state that taking MCT oil may result in gastrointestinal discomfort and that this can be mitigated by taking it with food.
When taken as part of a ketogenic diet, high doses of MCT oil have caused restlessness and insomnia.
The main disadvantage of pure MCT oil is that it does not contain essential fatty acids and thus cannot be used as a total dietary substitute for all other fats.
While coconut oil and palm oil have distinct flavors that can be palatable on their own, pure MCT oil is bland. If it is used on its own, it doesn't add any particular flavor to food. The oil mixes well with many different types of seasonings and flavors, but is not as well suited to cooking as coconut oil due to a lower boiling point.
The two primary food sources of MCTs are coconut and palm oil (most MCT oil supplements are extracted from coconut oil). In addition to containing MCTs, both are very high in saturated fat and calories. Milk, butter, and cheese also contain MCTs, with the highest concentration coming from sheep and goat dairy products. Clarifying butter (making ghee) also ups the ratio of MCTs to other types of fat.
It's important to speak to a doctor before making any major changes in to your diet or exercise regimen. While coconut and palm oils are considered food products, the FDA does not regulate pure MCT oil sold as a supplement.
Since MCT oil on its own will increase the metabolism and cannot be converted to stored fat, consuming it in conjunction with large amounts of other fats or carbohydrates may actually promote their retention. If MCT oil is treated as a fat-burning "magic bullet" and a substitute for eating a high load of carbohydrates and other fats, it may have the reverse effect of putting your metabolism on hold until the MCTs are burned off. Additionally, other fats and carbs consumed during this time may be stored more efficiently instead of being burned!
MCT oil should not be used by those with diabetes, except under direction of a physician as it is ketogenic.
Also, it should not be taken by those with liver disease — or other liver problems — since MCTs bypass the digestive system and are sent directly to the liver for processing. This may cause added stress and complications.
Where to buy
MCT oil supplements can be found right here at PricePlow and at 30% to 50% off of retail prices. You may even save on sales tax if applicable where you live. Let us handle the comparison shopping so you can spend more time focusing on your health.
What we like
- NOW Sports MCT Oil is 100% purified, vegetarian/vegan and supports weight management while retaining lean muscle tissue. It's available in 32 oz. bottles of liquid or 150 softgels.
- Body First MCT Oil is also 100% purified and is recommended for the support of low carb, ketogenic, and body-recomposition diets. It comes in a 32 oz. bottle containing 63 servings.
- Nutrakey MCT Oil comes in both softgels and oils, and the oils have flavor too!! This is the MCT Oil that boosted Mike's ketone levels in the video linked above.
Clegg, M; Food Sciences and Nutrition; "Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance;" November 2010
MCT Oil News on PricePlow
Apr 10, 2018 Product News:
Giant Sports MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Mar 23, 2018 Product News:
SportsResearch MCT Oil has a new variation: 16 Oz. - Unflavored (MCT Oil)
Mar 21, 2018 Product News:
Nuton MCT Oil - Live Brilliant was created (MCT Oil)
Feb 28, 2018 Blog Post:
RedCon1 MRE Bar is Everything You Wanted But Didn’t Know It Yet
RedCon1 MRE Bars are finally here, and they're everything the market wanted in a meal replacement bar. Just nobody realized it yet. Learn why here.
Feb 13, 2018 Product News:
Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder has a new variation: 220 Grams - Matcha (MCT Oil)
Feb 11, 2018 Product News:
Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder has a new variation: 378 Grams - Chocolate (MCT Oil)
Feb 11, 2018 Product News:
Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder has a new variation: 318 Grams - Vanilla (MCT Oil)
Feb 05, 2018 Product News:
Onnit MCT Oil has a new variation: 24 Oz. - Unflavored (MCT Oil)
Feb 05, 2018 Product News:
Onnit MCT Oil has a new variation: 16 Oz. - Creamy Vanilla - Emulsified (MCT Oil)
Feb 03, 2018 Product News:
Sparta Nutrition Keto Coffee has a new variation: 30 Servings - French Vanilla Bliss (MCT Oil)
Jan 31, 2018 Product News:
Barlean's MCT Swirl was created (MCT Oil)
Jan 29, 2018 Blog Post:
Ambrosia Supplements Ritual AM Review: Morning Keto Brain Fuel
CJ and Robert do a flavor review of Mike Rashid and Marc Lobliner Ritual AM morning biohacking fuel from Ambrosia Supplements
Jan 16, 2018 Blog Post:
CogniKeto: The Ketogenic Nootropic by Sparta Nutrition
CogniKeto is a new ketogenic nootropic brain boosting supplement from Sparta Nutrition to help brain function with BHB salts and powerful nootropics
Jan 16, 2018 Product News:
Onnit MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Jan 10, 2018 Product News:
Mutant MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Jan 09, 2018 Blog Post:
Sparta Nutrition Keto Shred: Keto Fat Burner Drink
Sparta Nutrition releases their keto-approved thermogenic fat burner powdered drink infused with BHB salts and MCT Oil in Keto Shred.
Jan 02, 2018 Blog Post:
Sparta Nutrition Keto Coffee: BulletProof Gets a Vicious Competitor
Keto Coffee Creamer is here! Sparta Nutrition debuts its Keto Series of supplements with Keto Coffee, a competitor of the MCT rich bulletproof coffee.
Jan 02, 2018 Product News:
Sparta Nutrition Keto Coffee was created (MCT Oil)
Dec 26, 2017 Product News:
Nature's Way MCT Oil from Coconut was created (MCT Oil)
Dec 21, 2017 Blog Post:
RAW Synergies Thermo Pre: 2-in-1 Fat Burning Pre Workout
RAW Synergies ThermoPre is a 2 in 1 thermogenic fat burner that can also double as a perfect moderate stim pre workout for fasted cardio days!
Dec 18, 2017 YouTube Video:
Keto Hot Chocolate! Giant Sports Keto Cocoa REVIEW
Oct 26, 2017 Product News:
Giant Sports Maximum MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Oct 01, 2017 Product News:
Keppi MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Oct 01, 2017 Product News:
Kiss My Keto MCT Oil Softgels was created (MCT Oil)
Sep 27, 2017 Product News:
SportsResearch MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Sep 27, 2017 Product News:
Zhou Nutrition MCT Oil Powder with Prebiotic Fiber was created (MCT Oil)
Aug 30, 2017 Blog Post:
MuscleTech Mass-Tech X5 — Peak ATP Powered by FAT!
Mass-Tech X5 is the newest variation of a muscle-building supplement from MuscleTech to feature Peak ATP.
Aug 21, 2017 Blog Post:
Nuton Brainfood: Ultra-Pure MCT Oil with No Lauric Acid
Nuton Brainfood is a premium quality MCT oil high in Capric and Caprylic Acid which enhances energy and brain function.
Aug 18, 2017 Blog Post:
Keto Supplements: Mike’s Ketosis Supplement Experiment
Keto Supplements for ketogenic dieters, mainly BHB Salts (Beta Hydroxybutyrate), are taking the market by storm. Do they work? W'er going to find out.
Aug 18, 2017 YouTube Video:
Pruvit Keto//OS Review: A Massive RIPOFF, But it Works!
Aug 18, 2017 Product News:
Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder was created (MCT Oil)
Aug 04, 2017 Product News:
BulletProof XCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Aug 02, 2017 Product News:
Nuton Ultra Premium MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Jul 13, 2017 YouTube Video:
BPI Keto Aminos Review: KETOSIS KILLER for Mike
Jul 12, 2017 YouTube Video:
The MCT Oil Keto Diet Connection: Do MCTs Raise Ketones?
Jul 12, 2017 Product News:
NutraKey MCT Oil was created (MCT Oil)
Jun 21, 2017 Blog Post:
Ambrosia Ritual AM: Keto Coffee Creamer by Marc Lobliner and Friends
Ambrosia is a cleaner, "better" alternative to the keto-touted Bulletproof Coffee developed by Ambrosia. Keto Coffee Creamer is here from Lobliner!
May 26, 2017 Product News:
KetoSports MCT Powder was created (MCT Oil)
May 10, 2016 Blog Post:
BPI Best PRE Workout – A Keto Diet Pre Workout?
BPI Sports has a new keto-targeted product tilted Best Pre Workout, using the keto-inducing power of BHB to help you burn fat for fuel during workouts
Jan 25, 2016 Blog Post:
NutraBio Muscle Matrix MRP: An Athlete’s Meal
NutraBio Muscle Matrix MRP is a quality meal replacement that uses whey protein isolate, cyclic dextrin, MCT oil, and fiber. No cheap concentrate!
Aug 25, 2015 Blog Post:
Animal MASS: Universal’s Answer to Weight Gainers
Animal Mass is Universal Nutrition's weight gainer protein powder - and it's finally here to boost your macros. Eat like a beast to become an ANIMAL!
Aug 07, 2015 Blog Post:
FatWater: A 20 Calorie Fat-Powered “Energy” Drink?
FatWater is the latest fad from the maker of Bulletproof Coffee, Dave Asprey. It promises energy and better hydration, but is this true?
Dec 14, 2014 Blog Post:
Quest MCT Oil Powder Coming for the Clean Cooks
Quest Nutrition's MCT Oil Powder is coming soon - see why chefs who #CookClean should try using it and get notified when the price drops!
Nov 12, 2014 Blog Post:
How To Get Even MORE Fat Loss from BulletProof Coffee
Ben Carpenter and his take on adding ghee and MCT oil (both basically pure fat) to coffee -- better known as "BulletProof Coffee"
Apr 22, 2013 Blog Post:
The Women’s Weight Loss Supplement Stack
What do women need to stay healthy, lose weight, or get in shape? Learn the kinds of diet concerns, vitamins, or supplements women should pay attention to.
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MCT Oil Deals & Price Alerts
The following deals are still active:
- Apr 18, 2018: NutraKey MCT Oil 16 Oz. (only Natural) dropped by 49.1% to $14.24 at Suppz.com
- Apr 18, 2018: KetoSports Keto8 25 Servings dropped by 38.7% to $31.45 at Amazon.com
- Apr 18, 2018: Ultimate Nutrition MCT Gold 33.8 Oz. dropped by 25.0% to $13.49 at Muscle and Strength
- Apr 15, 2018: NOW MCT Oil 16 Oz. (only Vanilla Hazelnut) dropped by 12.2% to $11.99 at Muscle and Strength
- Apr 14, 2018: Keppi MCT Oil 32 Oz. dropped by 8.3% to $21.97 at Amazon.com
- Apr 13, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 12 Oz. (only Creamy Vanilla - Emulsified) dropped by 10.0% to $25.16 at Onnit
- Apr 11, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 12 Oz. (only Ginger - Savory Emulsified) dropped by 22.8% to $16.95 at Amazon.com
- Apr 08, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 12 Oz. (only Creamy Strawberry - Emulsified) dropped by 21.8% to $17.95 at Amazon.com
- Apr 03, 2018: Kiss My Keto MCT Oil Softgels 300 1000mg Softgels dropped by 10.7% to $24.99 at Amazon.com
- Mar 28, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 12 Oz. (only Creamy Coconut - Emulsified) dropped by 20.0% to $18.36 at Amazon.com
- Mar 24, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 16 Oz. (only Pumpkin Spice - Emulsified) dropped by 15.0% to $23.76 at Amazon.com
- Mar 02, 2018: Nature's Way MCT Oil from Coconut 16 Oz. dropped by 8.0% to $11.49 at AllStarHealth
- Feb 12, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 12 Oz. (only Cinnamon Swirl - Emulsified) dropped by 10.0% to $25.16 at Onnit
- Feb 12, 2018: Onnit MCT Oil 12 Oz. (only French Onion - Savory Emulsified, Herbs de Provence - Savory Emulsified) dropped by 10.0% to $22.46 at Onnit
- Feb 01, 2018: Barlean's MCT Swirl 16 Oz. dropped by 6.5% to $17.47 at VitaCost.com
- Jan 13, 2018: NOW MCT Oil 32 Oz. dropped by 11.2% to $8.49 at AllStarHealth
- Jan 13, 2018: NOW MCT Oil 16 Oz. (only Chocolate Mocha) dropped by 18.2% to $10.49 at AllStarHealth
Sign up for future MCT Oil deals and coupons!
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MCT Oil Reviews & YouTube Videos
Dec 18, 2017: Keto Hot Chocolate! Giant Sports Keto Cocoa REVIEW
Aug 18, 2017: Pruvit Keto//OS Review: A Massive RIPOFF, But it Works!
Jul 13, 2017: BPI Keto Aminos Review: KETOSIS KILLER for Mike
Jul 12, 2017: The MCT Oil Keto Diet Connection: Do MCTs Raise Ketones?
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MCT Oil Topics in the PricePlow Forum
- Dec 18, 2017: Keto Hot Chocolate | Giant Sports Keto Cocoa REVIEW
- Dec 12, 2017: Study on Keto Diet Intervention in Alzheimer's disease