MCT in General
What are triglycerides (TGs)?
TGs are the most common type of dietary fat (lipid) and storage (adipose) fat found in our bodies. They are the most abundant type of fat found in nature. TGs contain three fatty acids (of any size or chain length) attached to the three carbon molecule known as glycerol.
The main role of adipose tissue is to store energy in the form of fat, as well as cushion and insulate the body. Too much adipose tissue accumulation contributes to obesity.
What are Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)?
MCTs are a special type of TG containing three fatty acids of chain length 6-10 carbons (known as medium chain fatty acids or MCFA).
What is the significance of the chain length being 6-10 carbons in MCFA?
The MCFA are rapidly and efficiently taken up during the digestive process and provide benefits for weight management (via satiety benefits, and providing energy without accumulating in adipose tissue), cognition (by providing energy to the neurons in our brain), and for sports performance (by providing sustained energy without accumulation in adipose tissue and also potentially helping our ability to concentrate). Many of the benefits of MCFA are mediated via their conversion to ketone bodies (KBs).
What are ketone bodies?
Ketone bodies are molecules that are produced by the liver from fatty acids during periods of low food intake (fasting) or carbohydrate restriction for cells of the body to use as energy instead of glucose.
What is the significance of KBs?
Within physiological levels achieved by consumption of MCTs, KBs are major energy sources for the heart, kidney, central nervous system (brain) and skeletal muscle. They are particularly important energy sources when carbohydrates are low, when carbohydrates cannot be taken up optimally by tissues, or when dietary energy in general is low, such as after a fast or between meals. KBs may also be important energy sources during intensive and endurance sports or cognitive activities. We evolved with the ability to convert fats to KBs as an energy source during bouts of fasting. So consuming MCTs mimics the metabolism we evolved with. It is likely that early man had much higher circulating levels of KBs than modern man.
Are MCFA naturally occurring?
Yes. They are found in palm kernel oil (PKO) and to a much lesser extent in coconut oil (naturally present at 8-15% total C8 and C10 MCFA). They are also found in most mammalian milks (man, cow, sheep, horse, rabbit, mouse, rat, and particularly goat). The MCFA are so important that human infants store them in adipose tissue between lactations, but the ability to store them in adipose tissue is lost in adults.
Is coconut oil a good source of MCFA?
Despite popular belief, coconut oils are very weak ketogenic fats. The predominant fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid (C12; about 47%) and it is not a strong ketogenic fatty acid. Furthermore, C12 may have anti-microbial properties in vitro (in test tubes), but the advantages and disadvantages of this anti-microbial property are not well known in vivo (in living organisms).
What is the history of MCTs?
From 1929-1932, it was recognized that fatty acids with chain length C6-C8 were only very minimally stored in rat adipose tissue (0-1.5% of adipose fatty acids), with more accumulation with C10 (15%), and more still with C12 (25%, abundant in coconut oil). In 1950, it was recognized that MCFA are more rapidly burned than longer chain fatty acids, and this could account for the earlier findings showing lack of accumulation in adipose tissue. Beginning in 1951, MCFA were being used to treat intestinal malabsorption, since they are not absorbed by long chain fatty acids and require less bile salts and other lipase digestive enzymes. In 1958, the benefits of MCFA for growth, appetite suppression, and weight management were recognized. In the 1980s, the benefits of MCFA and MCTs for sports performance and energy were recognized and marketed. The renewed interest in MCTs since the 1980s has been for cognitive benefits, sports performance, weight management, and an increasing list of clinical conditions (cognitive diseases, cancer, diseases of fatty acid oxidation), with some remarkable successes to date.
What is the significance of the name KetoMCT?
The prefix “Keto” is to remind us that many of the beneficial properties of MCT and MCFA are via conversion to Ketone bodies.
What is the significance of your slogan, “A Rediscovered Healthy Oil?
MCFA and MCT did not receive much marketing and biological attention since the 1980s, when they were used for specific digestive diseases and for enhancing sports performance and energy. More recently, the positive benefits of MCTs, MCFA, and ketone bodies have been recognized and rediscovered. It is recognized that ketone bodies form during fasting and are particularly important energy sources when carbohydrates are low as in Paleo/Atkins/Bernstein types of diets for diabetes and weight management. MCTs are also beneficial for people with poor absorption/digestive diseases, particularly those related to fat malabsorption. Currently, the greatest interest in MCTs surrounds their cognitive benefits in healthy and clinical populations. So called classical ketogenic diets, which are very high in saturated fat, difficult to consume, and used to treat epilepsy, are being re-invented with MCTs as major components
What is special about KetoMCTs MCTs?
Our MCTs are 98-99% tricaprylin, that is, almost all of the fatty acids attached to the glycerol backbone are C8 (octanoic acid, caprylic acid). From the early rat work cited above, C8 is one of the MCFA that is very minimally stored in adipose tissue and work in rhesus monkeys, shows that C8 was more ketogenic (in forming the KB beta-hydroxybutyrate) than C9 and C10 after 1 and 3 hours.
Are there clinical results to support your product?
Yes, very recent clinical work presented at the 25th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oils in 2015, shows that tricaprylin (C8) was more ketogenic than MCTs containing mixtures of C8 and C10, and much more ketogenic than coconut oil in healthy adults (References below).
How does KetoMCT compare to other commercially available MCT products?
KetoMCT products contain C8 fatty acids to optimize their physiological benefits and ketogenicity (ability for form ketone bodies). KetoMCT is a science-driven company that develops its products based on a state of the art understanding of the science around MCTs and ketone bodies. Our mission is to provide the highest quality products to our customers, backed up by credible science.
Is KetoMCT manufactured in the USA or in Asia, and does it matter?
KetoMCTs products are manufactured in the USA because it is easier for us to control the quality control and sustainability of the products by manufacturing in the USA and we are proud to be a “Made in America” product line.
Why does KetoMCT provide a large bottle and a “KetoMCT To Go” smaller bottle?
We provide a smaller “To Go” bottle for convenience, so that our customers can carry the small bottle with them throughout the day, and add KetoMCT to salads, shakes, smoothies, etc. For those frequent flyers, the “To Go” size will be accepted by custom agents. The small bottle has a wide mouth to facilitate re-filling from the larger bottle.
Can I buy the small bottles separately?
Yes, as a special order, upon request.
Why do you use plastic- and not glass bottles?
Plastic bottles are available today that are resistant to melting by lipids, tasteless for the oil within, and are cheaper, recyclable, lighter, and not breakable relative to glass.
What products are coming next from KetoMCT?
That is top secret, but we welcome your suggestions.
How much KetoMCT should I consume?
We recommend consuming 1 tablespoon (about 15 grams) with meals for a total of 30 grams per day. Some persons consume as little as 15 grams per day, and others consume up to 60 grams per day. It is important to gradually increase your dosage to avoid any possible stomach upset.
Cunnane SC. 2015. The ketogenic effect of medium chain triglycerides: potential to meet the energy demands of the aging brain. Keynote presentation, 25th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oils, October 4- 6, 2015, Hotel Delta Quebec, Canada.
Pierotti T, Vandenberghe C, Fortier M, Brodeur-Dubreuil C, Cunnane SC. 2015. A comparison of the plasma ketone response to coconut oil and medium chain triglycerides supplements. 25th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oils, October 4- 6, 2015, Hotel Delta Quebec, Canada.
St-Pierre V, Courchesne-Loyer A, Vandenberghe C, Hennebelle M, Castellano CA, Cunnane SC. 2015. Ketosis after a single dose of several potentially ketogenic dietary supplements in healthy humans. 25th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oils, October 4- 6, 2015, Hotel Delta Quebec, Canada.