There is always some top product in dieting culture that promises relief from obesity or offers us the life that we have always dreamed of. In fact, you probably have already spotted MCT powder or oil before if you have ever tried the keto diet. So, what is MCT oil? Can it provide lasting health benefits? What is its relationship with cannabis and its cannabinoids?
MCT oil is a dietary supplement made up of MCT fats found in dairy products, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil.
Fat molecules are made up of long chains of carbon atoms, and most of the fats present in an individual's diet are made up of long-chain fatty acids. Long-chain fats may contain 13 to 21 carbon atoms arranged in the form of a long chain. In contrast, medium-chain triglycerides, or MCT, have a medium length, as they are made up of 6 to 12 carbon atoms.
Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCT goes straight to the liver from the gut. In the liver, it is directly used as a source of energy. Since MCTs are used straightaway, there is very little chance for them to be stored as fat molecules and thus they do not cause obesity.
Health Benefits of MCT Oil
MCT oil may help manage the following health concerns:
MCT oil can be helpful in weight loss. A study found that MCT oil may help release hormones that make a person feel full, which can be beneficial for losing weight. Another study found that MCT may help in weight loss, but more concrete research is required on a larger scale to determine its specific effects on an individual's weight.
It is also believed that MCT oil may help improve endurance and boost energy levels during a workout. A study in 2009 found that consuming MCT-rich food rather than long-chain fats helped increase the endurance time for high-intensity exercise in athletes.
MCT may also play a part in lowering cholesterol. A study in 2009 analyzed 40 women consuming coconut oil. It was found that throughout the study, bad cholesterol levels decreased and good cholesterol levels improved. As coconut oil is a rich source of MCT oil, it likely improves cholesterol levels. However, since the study did not directly look at the role of MCT oil, we cannot be sure.
MCT Oil and CBD
MCT oil does a perfect job of protecting cannabinoids from being completely flushed out of the body or broken down by the digestive system before it reaches the bloodstream. When cannabinoids like CBD and THC are consumed, they must pass through the digestive system, breaking it down into 100 metabolites. Many of these go to waste and are not used by our bodies. As a result, the bioavailability of CBD is reduced and we only get a minimal amount of CBD in the end.
To solve this problem, the fat-soluble nature of CBD is utilized. When paired together, the MCT oil acts as a vehicle for CBD to be absorbed directly by the bloodstream. MCT oil helps CBD avoid breaking down in the digestive system, allowing a greater amount of CBD to be absorbed by the body.