MCT oil and coconut oil - superfood or just hype?

Coconut oil sounds exotic, but MCT oil sounds modern. And right at the beginning, when it comes to healthy eating, we asked ourselves - what is healthier, butter or margarine? Both of these oils are currently enjoying increasing popularity. A Marketing Strategy?

At least they are currently the big hit among health-conscious people and are gaining the status and name of a “superfood”, as it is technically called today.

A quick introduction - the facts

MCT stands for "medium-chain triglycerides". These are saturated fatty acids of various chain lengths on carbon atoms (6 to 12 carbon atoms). These have wonderful scientific names like caproic, caprylic, capric and lauric acid. 

In the body, these fatty acids are broken down and processed faster than their long-chain colleagues. Sunflower, chicken fat, goose fat, etc. (Attention Christmas is approaching!) Are transported directly to the liver via the main venous channels. 

The now short-chain, great fatty acids have the advantage of being absorbed and processed by the respective body cells independently of the bile acids and the otherwise necessary fat-splitting enzymes.

Due to these properties, they were able to defend their permanent place in clinical nutrition bypassing the digestive tract early on ("Once upon a time ...") for people with severe health problems and for early forms of childhood cramps. 

MCTs occur naturally in butter, coconut oil and palm oil, even in all animal milk and also in breast milk!

By the way, MCT fats actually have 10 percent fewer calories than other dietary fats. However, they do not occur in nature in their pure form! It consists of completely saturated, medium-chain fatty acids. Commercial products are made from palm kernel oil and coconut oil. Whether this is positive for our environment and permanently for the health, I will leave it open at this point. The fact is, it is purely vegetable and therefore suitable for any form of nutrition. Whether mixed food, vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian etc.

Incidentally, coconut oil has the highest proportion of MCT, namely around 70 percent. 

MCT Oil - A Secret Weapon?

With the promise to get slim quickly and easily with this superfood, we as the “community of the health-conscious and hopeful of a secret weapon” can of course be easily lured, if you may say so. Who wouldn't want to drink a small amount of wonder oil once or twice a day to gain quick energy, long satiety and fat loss?

But what is it really about the non-plus-ultra oil story and the legendary “Bulletproof coffee”? 

And do we really only need a special combination of medium-chain fatty acids against obesity and to improve our body?

What Does the Internet Say About MCT Oil?

If you ask Google about MCT oil, you get quick and beautiful, promising answers:

Naturopathically, it is said to have antibiotic effects. Lipid metabolism disorders, gout and elevated blood sugar should all be a thing of the past, and cardiovascular diseases should be prevented in the long term. Memory is also said to improve, and some articles even suggest that Alzheimer's can be prevented. 

The price of health is currently on average and in the existence of the Internet jungle between 20–50 euros per liter.

MCT oil is unique in its effects

So far - as far as I know - there is no other food from which ketogenic energy for our nerves, organs and muscles is formed so quickly. MCT oil can quickly compensate for a so-called energy low. When our nerves are under-supplied with energy, for example because our immune system is chronically fighting with inflammation or against bacteria and viruses, we become weak, grumpy and tense. We feel tired. No question. 

We normally get our energy from starchy foods, more precisely from sugar - let us: glucose. Our brain alone requires around 30 percent of our energy expenditure (now I know why I could always eat little hamster on the running wheel). 

And this actual fuel of our inner motor has a well-known antagonist, insulin. This feeds the fuel of life into our most important friends, the mitochondria, which are our small nuclear power plants and provide our energy for all body processes. But insulin is also a nasty bitch - the customs officer at the gates of hell (glucose) and heaven (fats), so to speak. And what MCT oil can do, smuggle energy past the customs officer. Insulin has no sniffing nose at the border control for these fatty acids. Thus: Clear the way to the body and brain cells!

MCT oil viewed biochemically 

MCT oil is almost water-soluble, thin and tasteless. It is not greasy like butter and does not leave an unpleasant oil film in the mouth or on the skin. Once absorbed in the body, it quickly passes into the blood, is carried away, distributed and arrives at the liver after a few minutes. Once there, at the main control center, these fats are also built into compact energy packets. What our parcel headquarters finally sends out after packing are the so-called ketone bodies, another form of energy supply for our cells and what is called ketogenic energy. 

Only our liver has this special ability to convert MCT into ketones.

But of course our body didn't think about the popularity of MCT among us normal people about 2 years ago, “Hey, today is Monday January 1st, 2018. I think today we could try out whether we can take our gray matter with us to be able to keep something other than bread and butter happy and test the new lifestyle product ... What was it called ... MCT ?! "

Ketogenic energy has been around since the Stone Age, it is a survival mechanism of the body 

But nowadays there are better expressions for this as well: Let’s start by calling the well-known intermittent fasting, at least when it starts over 12 hours of fasting.

Intermittent fasting

Yes, any period of starvation from a certain period of time switches the inner adjusting screw to ketone body production, the brain must continue to be supplied. After all, the lights above cannot be turned off during the day.

The body has known the change between hunger and excess since the time of the swinging club and long body hair. Fortunately, he can adapt to the given situation. 

Our mitochondria primarily burn stored glucose from the liver and muscles. After a few days without re-intake of carbohydrates however, the sugar in the stores is used up. Then our body switches to fat metabolism. 

If we succeed in this, ketones can be produced from the free fatty acids by breaking down body fat in the liver, as in the above example of the energy pack. And these ketones ultimately supply our important mitochondria as fat energy. Our power plants continue to heat. This process is the Ketosis.

What you probably didn't know and why - I will mention it by the way - intermittent fasting actually deserves its importance, is that only those who really incorporate a period of fasting into their daily routine actually manage to activate their fat metabolism correctly and to benefit from the positive health benefits that can be proven!

To put it in a nutshell: MCT oil can therefore serve as an energy source alternative at this point and supply our body cells in the form of ketone bodies. Primarily the brain and muscles as well as nerve cells in general.

So MCt oil makes you healthy AND slim?

In fact, there are certain benefits to MCT. It increases z. B. does not have the cholesterol level and, as mentioned above, it has around 10 percent fewer calories than other fats. In addition, it is better drained via the lymph, which can be of particular relevance in lipedema and lymphedema patients. As already mentioned, it is used independently of insulin, so that no insulin peak occurs in the circulation, cravings are better avoided and improved satiety can be achieved. However, this is usually only the case when you start taking it. In the initial period, satiety appears to be improved and studies have shown that initial short-term weight reductions have been shown.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) admits that this can facilitate a reduction diet, especially at the beginning, but it also quickly leads to a habituation effect on the MCT. For their part, there is no scientific evidence of long-term success from taking MCT oil. That is why the DGE does not consider MCT fats to be recommended for therapy against obesity either. 

It has also been known for many years how questionable saturated fatty acids really are in the long term for general health and especially with regard to cardiovascular diseases. Think heart attacks and strokes.

The Deutsche Apotheker-Zeitung also published an interview with various named nutritionists in June this year that studies on coconut and MCT oil came to the conclusion that a diet with these fatty acids had no beneficial effect on health.

An anti-inflammatory or heart-protective effect is contradicting itself and these are also not reliably demonstrable. 

Apart from that, one has to think about what effects an increased consumption of tropical vegetable oils by thousands of people has on the environment without it being necessary. 

Domestic oils such as rapeseed, pumpkin, linseed and walnut oil are always healthier in terms of the fatty acid composition.

Side effects of MCT oils

If normal dietary fats are completely and immediately replaced by MCT fats, intolerance reactions can occur. Above all, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or heartburn as well as increased intestinal gas formation should be mentioned. So if you think you need MCT oil, you should start it carefully and spend the first two days in the home office for the sake of the environment.

Important: with permanent and sole use, the absorption of essential (necessary) fatty acids and in some cases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins go down (note: vitamins "ED- (E) -KA"). In addition, MCT oils are not suitable for heating, frying or deep-frying!

At the end of the primarily most important side effects that nobody else likes to talk about: MCT acts like an aggressive solvent on the cell walls of bacteria. What is desired as an antimicrobial effect is also very questionable in the long term for a healthy body. Because what should be useful for harmful and undesirable bacteria, on the other hand, also damages our own good, useful and necessary intestinal bacteria in the long term!

My conclusion on the whole!

MCT oil has a variety of beneficial properties for the human body. Especially with regard to various chronic ailments. With these no further life would be possible without a replacement of energy. Hence, it has not gained popularity for no reason. MCT can be easily integrated into the nutrition plan and takes effect after a short time.

It can help people through the energy gap of the day during the fasting interval without insulin being released. Thus it can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and initial weight loss, especially in diseases such as diabetes and also initially in obesity. Consumed in the form of the well-known “bulletproof coffee” combined with pasture butter or high-quality butter, it can definitely be used as a meal replacement. It offers an energy boost for a certain period of time or offers a sensible alternative to starvation from time to time. 

The alternative generation of energy with regard to the topic of lipedema and the mitochondrial problems involved could still be interesting at this point, it remains to be tested and observed.

I find the consistent ingestion of absolutely saturated fatty acids in larger quantities in comparison to necessary and healthy fatty acids such as omega-3 fats permanently questionable. 

In view of the risk / benefit assessment and useless costs for a product trend within the nutritional revolution, I personally decide at the end of my own test phase against buying MCT oils unnecessarily. Depending on which type of nutrition your body is currently maintaining in yin and yang, I recommend that you just try it out for yourself and make sure you have a healthy balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and also the quality and sustainability of the products for that you choose.

Stay healthy!
Your Doc_Gerlach 

If you liked the article, Nicole would be very happy if you buy her a virtual cup of coffee!

Check out this post on Instagram

⚕️ MCT as a metabolism boost? MCT = medium-chain triglycerides of natural origin, almost watery, tasteless but saturated. It supplies diseased cells with energy independently of an insulin response, which has long been known in various therapies for neuronal diseases, for example. All mammalian milk fat has MCT fats. They support digestion and energy production, especially in patients who require a certain diet or who are dependent on a parenteral diet (which goes around the stomach). Most MCT oils are made from coconut or palm kernel. Coconut oil, for example, consists of about 70% MCT! The best animal source is good pasture butter or ghee! Important oleic acids contained in various proportions are, for example, lauric acid, capric acid & caprylic acid. The common MCT oils are always mixtures of these oleic acids. A very well-known morning mixture of butter / ghee to MCT oil has become known as the so-called #bulletproofcoffee 😉 and is usually advertised with the keyword “brain food” because the caprylic acid it contains is quickly available in the neurons and thus the American FA Bullerproof has it in the Marketing made known. A positive side effect: MCT has an antibacterial effect and can inhibit fungi. MCT is HIGH-CALORIC - the same applies to the question of whether you can lose weight with it as to everything else, the amount matters - a calorie deficit is required for every diet. In order to lose 1kg of fat, you have to save 7000kcal in the short or long term. MCT gives immediate energy for nerves, orhabe6, muscles and instantly compensates for a low energy level. Hence the saying “booster”, but it cannot boost the metabolism to lose weight. Those who follow a ketogenic diet have a direct energy booster with MCT in the morning without the release of insulin. In patients who suffer from certain diseases of the cells and have a genetic metabolic disorder, MCT can be used therapeutically to supply all cells with energy via the direct blood path. ❗ About the use of MCT in ketosis and what it’s all about #mctoil #ketose # ketogenediät # ketogenic nutrition # lipedema # lipedema blog # healthy fat # nutrition #mct

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dr. nicole gerlach lipedema fashion

Author: Dr. Nicole Gerlach

Hi to all the lip girls out there! My name is Nicole Gerlach, I was born in 1983 and a passionate doctor. After a long pre-professional path through biochemistry, I have not only been involved in sports and nutritional medicine for almost ten years and previously worked on publications of various studies on Alzheimer's disease in Göttingen. After five years in the field of internal medicine, I am currently working in outpatient, general medical care. In addition, I have been able to gain experience in emergency medicine and phlebology / angiology, which, along with everything else, is most important to me and which is now the focus of my Instagram account @fragdochmaldiefrau_doctor, which I opened on August 21.08.2020, XNUMX, for questions and help on the subject of lip and lymphedema. A topic that is so close to my heart because I am an affected lipedema fighter myself and would like to share all of my knowledge and experiences with everyone who is affected and who are interested in medicine! Let's do it!

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  • Again a very versatile contribution that includes different perspectives and, à la “Once upon a time there was life”, takes you into the depths of human biology! Thank you! 🙂

  • Hello from Switzerland, a very informative article: Thank you very much. I also like the idea of ​​“donating coffee”. But I don't have a PayPal account. (I don't want to set one up for me either) How about TWINT? FG