Nowadays everyone wants to be healthy and stay healthy. It’s not like people before were uninterested with their general welfare. It’s just that people today are now more aware than they were before. There are certain advances that propelled medical studies and research to find more efficient, safe, organic, natural and inexpensive ways to improve one’s health. Up until recently, more and more people are now hooked on a craze that’s taking the world by storm the MCT craze. But what is MCT? How does it help us? Today in this article we will talk about MCTs, the difference between its oil and powder form and if whether this health supplement is really safe to use.
MCT (Medium -Chain Triglyceride)
MCT or medium-chain triglyceride is what you get when you combine three fatty acids with a glycerol backbone. This, in turn, makes fatty acids easy to use by the human body by making them water soluble. MCTs are more readily absorbed by the body because of its highly hydrolyzed and metabolized property. They occur naturally in some food like coconut oil, palm oil, and milk fat.
In these types of food, four kinds of naturally occurring MCTs can be observed which are Lauric Acid with its 12 carbon bonds, Caproic Acid with 6 carbon bonds, Capric Acid with 10 carbon bonds and lastly Caprylic Acid with 8 carbon bonds. The longest of the bunch would be Lauric Acid with 12 and the shortest would have to be Caproic with only 6 of its own. In terms of carbonic bonds, the shorter the better because it would easily be absorbed and converted to energy. However, the more popular version of MCT that the world is craving for is the commercially produced MCT Oil with its now equally in-demand MCT oil in powder form.
There exist now two forms of commercialized MCT the oil form (the predecessor) and the powder form (the successor). MCT oil is known to be a source of energy as it is digested and absorbed by the body and then raises the ketone levels of the body which is then burned as a substitute for burning glucose. It has been introduced into the diet of ketogenic since it gives the body a different option to burn as a source of energy as mentioned earlier.
Some experts consider MCT oil to be antifungal and antimicrobial. As it is in oil form it can easily be added to any recipe especially in salads as well as smoothies but experts suggest that if you are a first time user you have to take on small doses first like 1/2 teaspoon and then gradually build your way up to 1 tablespoon per serving.
Those who have used MCT oil report that they experienced a boost in energy and cognitive functions and some a more healthy digestive system. Some unwanted effects of MCT oil in the body are diarrhea, increased heart rate, fatigue, light-headedness and surprisingly a significant drop in energy. Though these side effects are rare and are sometimes observed only in cases where patients are allergic or cannot absorb MCT oil properly in their system.
MCT Oil Powder
Here comes another heavyweight in over-all wellness, the MCT powder. The most glaring difference between the two is their form of course with the predecessor being in oil form while the successor is now in powder form. How do they make MCT oil into powder? You might ask. Well, the oil is first mixed with what we call a carrier substance like starch and then they spray dry everything.
As magical as it may sound the fact that in converting oil to powder they use these carrier substances that can be detrimental and a turnoff for those who are health enthusiasts and athletes alike. It’s because some of these carrier substances are protein-based but then some are also low-quality starch. There is a probability that it can pose a problem with people who have sensitivities to food but to those who want to keep their insulin levels at bay since it significantly raises it.
Beware of Fillers
A study also showed the different additives found in an MCT powder concoction some are the following: Soy Lecithin, Acacia fiber, Sodium Caseinate, Maltodextrin, Glucose syrup, Corn fiber as well as other grain-based fillers. Well, not all these fillers are bad, like acacia fiber for example, which has high solubility, therefore, cannot be that harmful as to the digestive tract. However, the same cannot be said about the other fillers used in MCT oil powder production, like corn fiber and the other grain-based fillers because they can be of very little help and can go as far as raise your blood sugar, make your poop a little bit loose and may cause food allergies since it contains food allergens.
So before purchasing your MCT powders make sure to do a little bit of research about the brand. You can also contact the manufacturer and politely ask about the ratio of the ingredients used in your MCT powder. You also have to be a responsible consumer and know how much you can consume on a daily basis and know if you have food sensitivities by consulting experts such as doctors.
Benefits of MCT Oil Powder
Since MCT is just in its newest powder form one can expect that the benefits are much like those in its oil form. Though not all. First, you can add MCT oil powder with your favorite baking recipe, other powdered supplements, use as a creamer for coffee, and add to your delectable smoothies and fruit shakes. Second, since they are in powder form, they are easily packed by manufacturers for single consumption and you don’t have to measure out in teaspoons or tablespoons. Third, little to no upset stomach since it has carrier substance like starch that paves the way for MCT powder to make its way easily in the digestive tract unlike with oil which in some cases cause some concessionaires difficulty in digestion.
Is MCT oil powder safe for consumers?
Relatively speaking, with all that has been previously said, we cannot conclusively say that MCT powder is safe or not. However, as presented earlier there are some benefits to be gained as well as some unwanted side effects especially for those who have food allergies though minimal in nature. Unless new studies show more conclusive data that MCT oil powder is unfit for usage and consumption then it is for now relatively safe.