by Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News
There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet regarding the differences between MCT oil and coconut oil. So let's clearly define what each product is and how they differ. Once we have this proper understanding, the myths regarding MCT oil that are being propagated will become very obvious.What are MCTs?
Before we can begin our comparison of MCT oil and coconut oil, the first thing we have to do is define "MCT." MCTs stands for medium chain triglycerides. Another term for "triglycerides" is fatty acids. So another way of referring to MCTs is MCFA (medium chain fatty acids).
"Medium" references the chain length of the fatty acids. Oils can contain short chain, medium chain, or long chain fatty acids. Most oils are a combination of all three types.
Medium chain fatty acids contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains . They are:
These medium chain fatty acids are known to have tremendous health benefits.
C6 through C10, although found in coconut oil, are more predominant in other places in nature, such as goat's milk. This is reflected in their names, taken from "capra," which means "goat."
The most predominant MCT found in coconut oil, however, is lauric acid. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, making it nature's richest source of lauric acid.
While all the MCTs have known health benefits, lauric acid is the most well-known of the four. Lauric acid is prized around the world as a powerful antimicrobial agent, used in both food preservation as well as in drugs and nutraceuticals.
A search on the popular International Trading website Alibaba.com, for example, will show the following results when searching for each particular fatty acid:
Lauric acid products total more than the three capra MCT fatty acid products combined.MCT Oil is Manufactured ? Coconut Oil is Natural
Coconut oil in nature contains all four MCTs. In addition, it contains a small percentage of longer chain fatty acids.
MCT oil, on the other hand, is not an oil found in nature, but is manufactured by machine to separate out the medium chain fatty acids from the rest of the oil. The fatty acids are extracted through an industrial process of "fractionation".
The logic is that since MCTs are healthy, the more the better. Therefore, it is a popular belief that MCT oil is healthier than coconut oil. But is this true?