You can use MCT oil as a supplement to your diet to gain many health benefits. Its extensive use and health benefits make it a popular dietary supplement for losing weight, increasing stamina, elevating mood and deepening concentration, not to mention its potential benefits in the treatment of certain diseases and medical conditions.
THE 10 BENEFITS OF MCT OIL IN PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS AND USES AROUND THE HOUSE
Not only does MCT oil have a plethora of health benefits when consumed as part of a dietary regimen, but it also has many external applications and can be used in skin care and beauty products. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it also has potential applications around the home and can be used to make laundry detergent and hand soap.
Besides its beauty applications, MCT oil is great for use around the home. It can be used as a carrier oil for essential oil diffusers, rubbed on surfaces to prevent dust and polish furniture, and mixed with lye to create homemade hand soap or laundry detergent.
Let’s explore a few of the many ways MCT oil can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
1. MCTS ENCOURAGE KETOSIS AND CAN CAUSE WEIGHT LOSS
Dieting and weight loss can be challenging, and finding a diet that works and is good for you is half the battle when it comes to shedding pounds. Adding MCT oil to your diet may help dieters lose weight — and keep it off.
This idea is the keystone of the hugely popular keto diet, which encourages dieters to get the majority of their calories — up to 90 percent — from fat and avoid carbohydrates, which provide energy in the form of glucose. Avoiding glucose and consuming high amounts of fats, particularly MCTs, causes the body to burn excess fat during the process of ketosis.
Studies suggest that when MCTs are used to replace LCTs in a person’s diet, body weight and fat is reduced, particularly in overweight individuals.
MCTs also have a greater ability to help people feel full and, therefore, consume less. They also cause increased energy expenditure, which results in more calories burned — another reason why MCTs are extremely popular for those on the keto diet and keto foods.
2. MCT OILS CAN IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
MCT oil advocates also tout it as an effective performance booster when added to athletes’ diets. Some athletes have adopted MCTs as a workout supplement to increase their performance, to decrease body fat while increasing lean muscle and for weight loss.
One study found MCTs to be effective in decreasing lactate acid buildup, decreasing athletes’ perceived exertion and increasing stamina during high-intensity exercise. More studies are necessary to substantiate these claims, but the results are encouraging.
3. MCTS CAN BOOST GUT HEALTH
Consuming MCTs can not only help you lose weight and gain athletic stamina, but they may also aid digestion and serve as a sort of probiotic in the gut.
MCTs can boost immunity and help with gut health because they target harmful bacteria without destroying the good bacteria in the stomach. They have been shown to inhibit the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can cause diarrhea.
MCTs have also been shown to increase intestinal permeability and otherwise improved gastrointestinal health. This may prove useful for individuals with gastrointestinal illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease and gallbladder infections.
4. MCT OIL CAN IMPROVE BRAIN HEALTH
There are several recorded connections between the benefits of MCT oil and brain health. MCTs act as fuel for the central nervous system, since they can easily penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
One study conducted on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) found that adding MCTs to patients’ diets, along with their regular AD treatment, improved cognitive functions. Further research has also found that the ketogenic diet is effective at improving brain function through ketosis, which may counteract deteriorating glucose functions that contribute to brain deterioration due to AD.
5. MCT OIL MAY HELP IMPROVE BEHAVIOR IN PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
One study found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who ate a gluten-free ketogenic diet with MCT oil supplements had a significant improvement in certain behaviors associated with the disorder, including fear and nervousness.
Of the 15 study participants, 10 showed improvement after six months on the diet. Though further research is needed, the study concluded that a modified keto diet, supplemented with MCT oil, could be beneficial for people with ASD.
6. THE MCT-RICH KETOGENIC DIET CAN PREVENT SEIZURES IN CHILDREN
The keto diet has become wildly popular over the past few years as an effective dieting plan to help people lose weight and keep it off.
In fact, the ketogenic diet was originally developed in the 1920s as a way to prevent seizures in children. It was widely used for that purpose for several decades but was eventually replaced by anti-epileptic drug treatments in the middle of the 20th century.
Still, some seizure patients utilize and benefit from a ketogenic diet, where MCTs make up about 60 percent of fats consumed.
7. MCTS MAY WARD OFF CANCER
Adding MCT oil to your diet could have an even greater and surprising impact on your health — MCTs may have a tumor-suppressant quality. According to one study, where human tumor cells were directly exposed to MCTs in a laboratory setting, researchers noted a compelling anti-tumor effect.
Another study, conducted on mice, showed that consuming a ketogenic diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids and MCTs slowed tumor growth, and tumors in mice on the special diet showed a decreased blood supply.
More research is needed in these areas, but initial findings are promising.
8. MCT OIL MAY IMPROVE RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH DIABETES
Though some medical experts warn that the keto diet may increase complications in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, patients with controlled diabetes may experience benefits from increasing their intake of MCTs.
One study conducted on patients in China found that MCTs may have the opposite effect. The study found that the subjects who added MCT oil to their diet saw decreases in cholesterol, weight and waist circumference.
As always, be sure to talk to your doctor before changing your diet, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
9. MCTS HAVE ANTI-MICROBIAL PROPERTIES
The acids that make up MCTs, particularly lauric acid, found in larger quantities in coconut oil, are known for their anti-microbial properties. MCT oil has been studied as an effective topical treatment for acne and other minor skin irritations.
Besides its previously mentioned application as a way to reduce harmful bacteria in the gut, MCT oil has also been studied in relation to oral microorganisms. Research has shown that fatty acids can limit the growth of some oral bacteria.
Oil pulling, in which oils like coconut oil are used as an oral rinse, has been part of the Ayurvedic Hindu tradition for thousands of years.
10. MCTS HAVE POTENTIAL USES EVERYWHERE
Because it is naturally occurring, gentle and safe to use, MCT oil has almost limitless applications. It can serve as a replacement for many products that typically contain harmful chemicals or harsh ingredients.
Since it is odorless and colorless, MCT oil can be easily incorporated into your own, home-made beauty products. Here are a few suggested uses for MCT oil:
- Skin moisturizer: MCT oil is a great moisturizer and may reduce the appearance of stretch marks and wrinkles.
- Hair conditioner: Before shampooing, apply a masque of oil to your hair and let sit for a few minutes before shampooing.
- Massage oil or personal lubricant: A safe and gentle alternative to petroleum-based jellies, MCT oil works well as a massage oil.
- Natural throat lozenge: Swallow half a teaspoon a few times a day to ease sore throat and cough.
- Makeup remover: The oil will liquefy eye makeup so you can gently wipe it away.
- Lip balm: Rub it into your lips to moisturize and prevent chapping.
- Shaving oil: Apply to skin as an alternative to shaving cream, and use it after shaving to help reduce ingrown hairs and razor burn.
- After-sun sunburn remedy: If you get too much sun exposure, apply MCT oil to the affected areas to promote healing and prevent pealing.
- Nail cuticle oil: Moisturize your cuticles with MCT oil before pushing them back and to help prevent fungal infections.
These are just a few ways you can incorporate MCT oil in your body-care routine.