Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type fat categorized as triglycerides.
Medium Chain Triglycerides are fatty acids with a unique chemical structure that are most commonly derived from coconut or palm oil (but can be found in dairy, too). The quality and characteristics of an MCT product will vary quite a bit from brand to brand because sourcing, selection, handling and processing all have a significant impact on how MCTs will function in the body, and also determine how safe, clean, and healthy it will be to consume (not to mention, sourcing is very important for environmental reasons — you must choose wisely!)
When consumed along with a low-glycemic ketogencic diets, MCTs can assist with healthy metabolic function. MCT are used specifically when we’re switching a body’s fuel source from glycogen/sugars/carbohydrates to fat for metabolic function. There are a variety of situations when this is particularly therapeutic, and may even be lifesaving – for example, with certain cancers, during chemotherapy treatment, seizures, autoimmune diseases, and for cognitive/neurological decline or neurological dis-eases. There is a lot of excitement and research right now about ketogenic diets, including the use of MCTs, to improve health and promote wellness in a number of populations, including our dogs and cats.
If you are unfamiliar with MCT Oil or you’ve heard about it, but aren’t really sure what it’s used for or what it is, please go on over to Dr. Anthony Gustin’s website for a nice, easy to understand yet scientific review of MCT oil.
For those wondering about the different types of MCT oil available to be used in a ketogenic diet for themselves or their animals, here’s a quickie MCT breakdown I just put together that should help.
SFRAW has a variety of options available when it comes to MCT oils including certified organic MCT from Nutiva (liquid or powder) and Bulletproof XTC Oil and Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil.
Of course, we also have a variety of MCT-rich whole foods such as grass-fed, pasture-raised and organic ghee, yogurt, butter, red palm oil and coconut oil. Please remember, however, that these sources are rich in lauric acid, which functions differently in the body when compared to MCTs that promote quick ketone production and a support ketosis or a ketogenic diet.