You probably acknowledged the existence of MCT’s already - via Instagram snaps of bulletproof coffees, on one of your keto groups, in the supermarket, on our ingredients list.
But do you really know what it is and what it does?
We found a lot of technical explanations out there, which can get confusing at times, so we decided to keep it simple. By the end of this blog post, you will know the difference and the benefits of MCT’s C8 and C10: the kinds we use in our Keto Cacao bars for that extra energy boost.
But first, what are MCT’s?
Most fats are made of long-chain fatty acids, like for example, Omega-3’s. MCT is short for medium-chain triglycerides. As the name suggests, they are medium-length chains of fatty acids found in oils, butter and other fats. They are the most common type of fat in our bodies.
But what makes MCT’s stand out from the long-chain fatty acids is its shorter length. Unlike long-chains, MCT’s go straight to the liver, which means they are absorbed much faster, taking minimal effort from the liver to convert MCT’s into energy. They also can give a bunch of health benefits, no wonder why all the buzz.
There are four different types of MCT’s: C6, C8, C10 and C12. They are named like that because of the number of carbon atoms (6 to 12) it contains. Each of them has its own unique benefits, however C8 and C10 increase ketone levels more efficiently, being an excellent source for energy and brain health. And by the way, ketones also suppress your hunger hormones, making you feel satisfied for longer.
But what’s ‘wrong’ with the other 2 types? Nothing. Well, C6 also converts quickly to ketones but it tastes quite bitter and can cause GI distress. And C12, although it is considered an MCT, its longer fatty chain (12) makes it less easy to metabolize. It’s well-known mostly for its great antiviral and antimicrobial properties. However, it is less potent when it comes to promoting brain health and ketone production.
Most of high-quality MCT Oils contain only type C8 and C10. The same we use as a nutritional boost for our Keto Cacao chocolate bars, and now you will see why:
C8: Caprylic acid
C8 is the most efficient fatty acid after C6 due to its length, being easy for your body to digest and break it down into fuel. This means that without spending much time processing in the liver, C8 molecules are quick to show its powerful effects on your body. These are some of the benefits you can reap from it:
Steady energy and mental clarity:
- This and other MCT’s are popularly known for their energy-boosting benefits. C8 is quickly transformed into ketones by the body.
- Ketones are a more efficient and steady energy source than glucose. Not just the body, but the brain prefers Ketones too.
- This is why promoting ketone production can help improve mental clarity and memory.
- C8 has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, just like C10. These properties have shown effects in treatments of yeast infections, and even improving skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and Dermatophilosis.
Improving gut health:
- There’s evidence that the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties from C8 can help keep bad bacterias in check to treat digestive disorders like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
- A study has shown that C8 can suppress cytokines, which are responsible for bowel damage in Chron’s disease, stomach ulcers, and IBS.
C10: Capric Acid
Capric Acid, is a bit less efficient than C8, but still easily absorbed during digestion, providing efficient energy. Along with burning fuel, C10 may help to boost the immune system and support digestion.
Candida Albican fighter:
- A study in 2001 has found that C10 is the most successful fatty acid in killing the three strains of the fungus Candida Albicans. This is one of many different types of fungus that live in and on the human body. It’s the type of yeast that normally lives in small amounts in places like your mouth, belly, on your skin, genitals, and in your digestive tract.
- Breastfeeding moms who ate C10 rich foods passed on the antimicrobial power to their infants, which boosted their ability to fight infections.
- The antimicrobial power of C10 makes it likely that it is also effective in adults.
- MCT’s are by rule more easy on digestion in comparison with other fats since they head straight to the liver. Capric acid adds more benefit to that by improving bile secretion and cholesterol metabolism, helping to speed up the digestion of other fats and avoid leaky gut.
So if you want to reap more potent antifungal/antibacterial benefits, go for coconut oil. But if you are looking for a quick energy boost and brain power, go for C8 / C10 MCT oil.
If you eat one of our Keto Cacao bars, you’ll eat MCT’s C8/C10 to power up your life with a shot of daily get shit done, satiation and healthy fats!
Tip from a Registered Dietitian
Adding MCT to your diet is a great way to increase your energy levels and boost your ketone levels while maintaining weight. But quality matters!
Now that the keto lifestyle is hitting the mainstream, also more products such as MCT oil make their way to the market. With more and more brands to choose from, you might wonder how to recognize high-quality MCT oil. Not all brands show the exact origin or ratio of the different MCTs, but the consistency of most commercial brands is a 50/50 combination of C8 and C10 fats.
Both C8 as C10 are mostly found in coconut oil or palm oil. Be aware to not confuse the ultra-processed versions of coconut and palm oils with organic, virgin, sustainable and unrefined oils. So always try to pick brands that are transparent about the origin and ingredients of their products.