What are MCTs? – The daily bite of knowledge

Written by Marina Lommel
3 minutes reading time
17. July 2023

The abbreviation MCT stands for middle chain triglyceride . A triglyceride is a compound of 3 fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol and is what we commonly refer to as “fat”.

A medium-chain triglyceride does not contain just any 3 fatty acids, but medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA for short). These fatty acids are crucial for the effect.

Bile acids are necessary for the digestion of “normal” long-chain fatty acids. These emulsify the fatty acids, form small fat globules and enable absorption into the cells of the small intestine. From there, the journey continues via lymphatic vessels to the liver.

MCTs are faster

MCTs can shorten this journey. Because medium-chain fatty acids have a shorter structure, MCTs and MCFAs are more easily soluble in water. Bile acids are not required for digestion; they bypass the lymphatic system and pass rapidly through the blood to the liver. There they are metabolized faster than other fatty acids. Some of the fatty acids are oxidized and “burned” for energy. A part can be converted into ketone bodies. The oxidation of fatty acids takes place in the mitochondria, the power plants of the cell. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCFAs do not require the help of carnitine to be absorbed.

If you’ve ever heard of carnitine and its importance to fat metabolism: It is. Carnitine is important for the uptake of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondrion.

MCTs are therefore absorbed more quickly and metabolized faster. At the same time, they are more easily converted to ketone bodies than long-chain fatty acids. Since ketone bodies have a satiating effect, MCTs also have a positive effect on long-lasting satiety.

Another practical property: the medium-chain fatty acids can fire up the metabolism, because they increase thermogenesis. And, they seem to make it harder to store body fat.

Use MCTs correctly

MCTs are available in the form of MCT oils. You can use this oil wonderfully in everyday life. It is suitable for salad dressings and for refining dishes. In our guacamole it intensifies the flavor excellently. Only you should not heat the oil too much. It is not suitable for frying.

MCT oil is often used in butter coffee. For this coffee, mix 15-20 g of pasture butter with 5-10 g of MCT oil and 200 ml of freshly brewed coffee. Foam briefly in the blender, ready. This coffee is suitable as an alternative breakfast for all those who have been eating low-carb for a long time. Please drink it only 3-4 times a week and eat nothing else with it. If you want to drink it more often or are very active in sports, you should add collagen protein.

But be careful: if you’re not used to MCTs, they can be slightly laxative. Start with a dose of 5-10 g per day and slowly increase by 5-10 g.

Here you can buy MCT oil directly from our store.

Learn more

Want to delve further into the topic? To get started, read this study:
“Research on the nutritional characteristics of medium chain fatty acids”
by Tosiaki Aoyama et al.

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This article was written by

Marina Lommel

Marina gründete Foodpunk nach ihrem Abschluss in Ernährungswissenschaften und ist aktuell CEO des Unternehmens. Während ihres Studiums arbeitete sie in verschiedenen Bereichen, darunter in der Wissenschaftsredaktion beim Radio, Redaktion beim TV und Uni-Wissensmagazin sowie im Labor am DZNE in der Parkinsonforschung. Marina ist außerdem Autorin von 5 ernährungswissenschaftlichen Sachbüchern.

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