Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs): What Are They and Where Do They Come From?

At this point, you’ve probably caught wind of the hype surrounding MCTs. Everyone from health-nuts to pro athletes are praising the powerful benefits of these healthy fats, and for a good reason.

Almost everyone can benefit from incorporating MCTs into their lives, and this is why.

What are MCTs?

MCTs are a natural source of dietary fats, and they get their name (Medium Chain Triglycerides) from their unique chemical structure.

To break it down, the word “triglycerides” is just a fancy name for fats, and fats serve two main purposes: they either get burned for energy, or they get stored as body fat to be used later.

A triglyceride is comprised of three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. These fatty acids are composed of carbon atoms, and they are named after the length of their fatty acid chains, which are:

  • Short-Chain Triglycerides: Fewer than 6 carbon atoms
  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides: 6-12 carbon atoms
  • Long-Chain Triglycerides: 13-21 carbon atoms (this is the majority of the fat in our diets)

It is MCTs’ fatty acid chain length that makes them so special. Why? Because they don’t require bile acids or enzymes to digest and absorb food like Long-Chain Triglyceride fatty acids do. This means that MCTs go straight to the liver, where they are quickly digested and efficiently absorbed into the body for immediate energy, instead of being turned into glucose or sugar.

There are four main types of MCTs:

  • Caproic acid (C6) – 6 carbon atoms
  • Caprylic acid (C8) – 8 carbon atoms
  • Capric acid (C10) – 10 carbon atoms
  • Lauric acid (C12) – 12 carbon atoms

And, while there are several sources of MCTs, one of the best natural sources is coconut oil.

Why is coconut oil the best natural source of MCT?

Coconut oil, which is made from the meat (or copra) of coconuts, is the richest natural source of MCTs. As a matter of fact, MCTs make up over half of the fat in the copra, with 42% being lauric acid, 7% caprylic acid, and 5% capric acid.

And, although lauric acid is considered an LCT by some due to its slower digestion and absorption, coconut oil is still comprised of 12% true medium-chain triglycerides, which quickly go from the digestive tract straight to the liver.

What’s more, due to its high level of absorption, the MCTs found in coconut oil allows ingredients like coconut cream to help increase the bioavailability of nutrients and herbs that wouldn’t otherwise be absorbed into the body.

How is coconut cream used to increase the bioavailability of other nutrients?

Coconut cream, a form of coconut oil, can help increase the absorption of certain nutrients that our bodies would otherwise not have the ability to absorb on their own. Turmeric, for example, is a powerful natural healing agent, but when taken on its own, its low bioavailability makes it hard for our bodies to absorb.

But, when taken alongside ingredients that can increase its chances of absorption, like piperine (an active compound found in black pepper) and coconut cream, its chances of absorption are increased dramatically.

The MCTs in coconut cream can also help increase the absorption of hemp extracts by helping it sidestep the first pass metabolic process where the compounds are sent from the stomach to the liver. This helps a higher level of hemp extract to be absorbed by the body.

Rightful For Pain & Recovery, a natural solution addressing symptoms of pain and inflammation, uses therapeutic doses of potent botanicals, which are optimized for maximum absorption via ingredients like coconut cream.

The addition of coconut cream in Rightful For Pain and Recovery allows for:

  • Maximum absorption via the healthy fat’s inherent MCTs
  • The creation of a liquid formula, which also increases the product’s overall level of bioavailability
  • Enhanced flavor and consistency

Learn more

If you have questions about the benefits of the MCTs found in coconut oil and coconut cream, or if you’d like to learn more about Rightfuls For Pain & Recovery, drop us a line.