You probably acknowledged the existence of MCT’s already - via Instagram snaps of bulletproof coffees, on one of your keto groups, in the supermarket... or on our chocolate's 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 Chocolate 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, mainly coconut oil (60%) and palm kernel oil (50%) 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.
MCTs C8 and C10
Most of high-quality MCT Oils contain only type C8 and C10. And that’s exactly what we use as a nutritional boost for our chocolate bars.
Here’s a quick explanation of the main characteristics of these two types of MCT:
The benefits of MCT C8/C10
Okay, now you know what are MCTs and you also know there are different types. But how does all this concern you?
Well, you get a whole lot of health benefits from MCTs. Here are some of them:
Gives steady energy and mental clarity. MCTs are popularly known for their energy-boosting benefits because it’s quickly transformed into ketones, which are a more efficient and steady energy source than glucose. These go directly to your metabolism and brain, which is why promoting ketone production can help improve mental clarity and memory.
Increase exercise performance. Because MCTs are absorbed directly through the gut without being degraded, they’re used directly in the body for fast energy and they’re also more likely to be used as fuel than stored in body fat.
- Helps you get into ketosis. In a low-carb diet, the organism gets in a state known as ketosis, where fats are burned for energy instead of carbs. Because carbs aren’t there to block MCTs, these become the main source of energy right away.
Helps reduce cravings. This is another awesome benefit of MCTs. Because they are fatty acids, they reduce appetite, which makes you feel full for longer periods of time.
- May help manage diabetes: Early evidence suggests MCT supplements are well-accepted in people with type 2 diabetes, and may increase insulin sensitivity and pancreatic beta cell function. Also research proposes that in patients with low blood sugar because of type 1 diabetes, MCT oil can help maintain brain function.
- Fights infections. C8 and C10 types have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties have shown effects in treatments of yeast infections, and even improving skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and dermatophilosis. Another study shows that, breastfeeding moms who ate C10 rich foods passed on the antimicrobial power to their infants, which boosted their ability to fight infections as well.
- Improves 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 Crohn's disease, stomach ulcers, and IBS.
- Candida Albican fighter. A study in 2001 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.
- Improves digestion. MCTs are by rule easier 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.
These are all the things you get from just one of the ingredients we use to make our Funky Fat Chocs. Pretty awesome, right?
So from now on, remember that you’re not just enjoying a chocolate bar - but you're doing a lot more.
And if you want to reap more potent anti-fungal/anti-bacterial benefits, go for coconut oil. But if you are looking for a quick energy boost and brainpower as well, go for C8 / C10 MCT oil.
If you eat one of our Keto Chocolate bars, you’ll have a dose of MCT’s C8/C10 to power up your life with a shot of daily get shit done, satiation and healthy fats!
But to get more of the benefits of MCT, we recommend adding it also to your daily coffee, smoothies, or however you prefer.
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 when picking your MCT oil.