MCT oil for weight loss is a great way to speed up your fat loss. Several studies show that MCT oil can speed up your fat loss. This is done by improving satiety, boosting metabolic rate and reducing appetite. According to a study published in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology in 2006, taking 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of MCT oil per day can boost your metabolic rate by 5%.
What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is commonly used to increase energy and promote fat loss. It is made up of easily digested fatty acids. These fatty acids vary in carbon length are processed differently than other dietary fats. They are absorbed directly from the digestive system into the liver, where they become ketones, or the fuel produced by the body when it converts fat into usable energy.
MCT oil is found naturally in dairy products such as milk and butter, as well as palm kernel oil.
MCTs are found in their heaviest concentration in coconut oil, where nearly half of the fat content comes from MCTs. Due to this, you’ll often see coconut oil used interchangeably or in place of MCT oil in supplements.
Since medium-chain triglycerides are converted directly into ketones, MCT oil is a very common supplement taken by people following the keto diet, which is a very low carbohydrate diet designed to force your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy.
MCT oil is also a popular supplement in the athletic community due to the potential quick, high-quality fuel that ketones offer. It’s important to note that many of the studies supporting MCT oil in athletic use are conducted on mice, not humans.
Potential Benefits of MCT Oil
MCT oil is associated with many potential health claims, which may or may not be backed by scientific evidence. The claims typically include the promotion of weight loss, improving athletic performance, helping to treat epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, and managing blood sugar levels for those with type 2 diabetes.
Inconclusive Evidence to Support Weight Loss
In terms of weight loss, one study confirmed, “It has been shown that MCT plays a role in lowering weight, and decreasing metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, and inflammation.” However, this study was conducted on mice and looked at MCT intake in a natural diet, not MCT oil in a supplemental form.
Another study did look at MCT oil in supplement form. It compared weight loss using MCT oil with weight loss promoted by olive oil. This study concluded that MCT oil tends to be more effective, and also that there was no adverse effect on metabolism. While these studies may seem promising, they are not conclusive, and research is still very limited.
Inconclusive Evidence to Support Use for Alzheimer’s
Regarding Alzheimer’s, research into using MCT oil as a treatment is also very preliminary, although it is thought to help. One paper on its usage explains, “Most are small preliminary studies [of MCT oil treating Alzheimer’s] that have generally demonstrated modest cognitive benefit and investigated potential effects on additional biomarkers of brain metabolism.”
Inconclusive Evidence to Support Use for Type 2 Diabetes
While studies have not shown adverse effects, more research is necessary to denote a positive correlation between using MCT oil and managing blood sugar levels.
May Support a Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy
MCT oil is widely used in the dietary treatment of epilepsy. It is used as part of the high-fat, low-carb, ketogenic diet to induce ketosis in epileptic patients, which may provide relief from seizures. While the use of the ketogenic diet is supported by evidence as a treatment for epilepsy, the specific use of MCT oil is not as well studied.
While one study showed that using MCT oil might help control seizures and may be more tolerable than a pure ketogenic diet, this study only looked at one test subject and therefore MCT oil cannot be relied on as a widespread treatment.
Potential Drawbacks of MCT Oil
One of the largest drawbacks of MCT oil is that it may quite simply provide no benefits. It may be an expensive supplement to invest in, with little or no return. Here are some other potential drawbacks:
Not Proven to Enhance Athletic Performance
Its so-called ability to enhance athletic performance has not been proven by any studies.7 Even studies that do suggest measurable benefits have not yet been reviewed and conducted enough times to provide conclusive evidence.
Consumption May Lead to Elevated Triglyceride Levels
There are also studies that suggest negative effects of MCT oil; one states that consumption can lead to elevated triglycerides, which are a type of lipids (fat) found in the blood. High levels of lipids can increase risk of heart disease.
May Cause Upset Stomach
MCT oil can also cause an upset stomach, leading to gastrointestinal distress like diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and cramping. Taking it on an empty stomach is more likely to cause these issues, so if you’re taking a supplement, pair it with a meal.
Lack of Regulation
One of the best resources for information on dietary supplements is the NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements fact sheets. As of now, there is still no fact sheet on MCT oil to better evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of this supplement. Dietary supplements are minimally regulated by the FDA, so there is no guarantee of the quality of MCT oil supplements unless they are tested by a reliable third-party organization such as NSF, USP, or ConsumerLab.
BEST MCT OIL SUPPLEMENTS
1. OVERALL BEST MCT OIL: SPORTS RESEARCH MCT OIL
Our pick for the best overall MCT oil is the Sports Research MCT Oil supplement. Available in a huge 40-ounce bottle, you get around seventy-nine servings of medium chain triglycerides.
Extracted from 100% organic coconut oil, this high-quality organic MCT oil consists of C8 (Caprylic acid) and C10 (Capric acid), which have been proven to quickly cross the blood-brain barrier and convert into ketones giving you that boost to your ATP energy production.
Sports Research MCT Oil utilizes a patented extraction process, that avoids using Hexane or other undesirable solvents so you know you are getting the best form of caprylic acid without anything unwanted additives.
This quality MCT oil supplement is a great addition to coffee, tea, smoothie, or whatever else you have to get your morning going. Add it to salad dressing in place of olive oil to get a dose of medium chain triglycerides during the afternoon, or use it in your baked goods.
Sports Research has made sure that their MCT oil is organic, using non-GMO coconuts to give you the best possible MCT oil that is keto and vegan friendly. If you are looking for a quality product that does not rely on fillers or harsh solvents, we recommend Sports Research as one of the best MCTs on the market.
- Doesn’t use solvents in the extraction process
- Only contains C8 and C10 acids
- Organic, Keto, Vegan, Non-GMO Verified
- Bottle cap can be difficult to measure out small amounts
- Due to potency, your stomach may need an adjustment period
OVERALL BEST MCT OIL
MCT C8 and C10 are body and brain boosting fatty acids that are extracted from organic coconut oil. Our MCT oil C8 Caprylic Acid and C10 Capric Acid is quickly digested…
2. BEST MCT OIL FOR WEIGHT LOSS: NATURE’S WAY MCT OIL
Nature’s Way MCT Oil is our pick for helping with weight loss. Made from pure coconut oil, Nature’s Way doesn’t depend on palm oil or any other fillers to bring you a premium Hexane-free product.
Available in a 16-ounce or 30-ounce bottle, you can get 32 and 59 servings respectively. You will get approximately 14 grams of C8 and C10 acids per serving to get your energy production going.
Flavorless and odorless, this high-quality MCT oil supplement can be a great addition to anything you want to consume it with. Coffee, salad dressing, guacamole (the healthy fat from avocados is a perfect pairing), nut butter are all some great options to get this into your diet.
Nature’s Way has been a trusted supplement company since 1969, sourcing quality non-GMO ingredients as often as possible.
All their products go through a rigorous testing, including chemical, microbiological, and identity, so you know you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
- Trusted brand
- Only contains C8 and C10 acids
- Certified USDA Organic, Certified Vegan, Certified Paleo, Keto Certified, Non-GMO Verified
- A full dose may cause some stomach discomfort if unacclimated
- There are some complaints about the bottle cap
BEST MCT OIL FOR WEIGHT LOSS
3. BEST PREMIUM MCT OIL: BULLETPROOF BRAIN OCTANE C8 MCT OIL
Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT oil is our choice for your best premium MCT oil option. Brain Octane oil is made from 100% coconut oil, no palm kernel oil filler oils which can be found in some lesser quality MCT oils.
Brain Octane is made up of pure C8 caprylic acid, unlike other MCT oils that utilize additional acids to fill out their product. Pure C8 acid acts as a supercharged brain fuel, kicking brain mitochondria into gear in ATP energy creation.
Bulletproof MCT oil can be used in coffee (like the company’s original Bulletproof coffee), salad dressings, marinade, and many other applications that can add variety to your supplement intake.
Brain Octane Oil is gluten and dairy free and uses non-GMO coconuts.
- Pure C8 acid – quickest ketone producer
- Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, non-GMO
- From the company that brought you Bulletproof Coffee
- Some gastro discomfort may occur due to potency
- Doesn’t come in a glass container
BEST PREMIUM MCT OIL
Brain Octane C8 MCT oil is extracted from 100% coconut oil, not palm oil, and rapidly converts into brain-powering, fat-burning ketone energy…
4. BEST MCT OIL FOR KETO: ONNIT MCT OIL
Onnit MCT Oil supplies three different medium chain triglycerides, in the form of C8 caprylic acid, C10 capric acid, and C12 lauric acid. While other MCT oils on this list don’t contain the medium-chain triglyceride lauric acid, mainly due to its slower absorption time, this coconut oil based product doesn’t shy away from keeping them as part of their product.
One way to look at it is to keep a closer composition to unrefined coconut oil than some of the other products on the market.
An added benefit of keeping lauric acid in the mix is the positive effect it has on your gut biome. It has antibacterial properties that can keep your healthy gut bacteria winning the battle over bad sickness-causing bacteria. Does this mean this product will keep you from getting sick? No, it doesn’t, but gut health is extremely important for your overall well-being and can contribute to more efficient weight loss.
- Promotes good gut health
- Comes in a flavored variety (Almond Milk Latte) specifically for coffee
- Good price point at $.83 per fluid ounce
- Inclusion of lauric acid seen as a negative by some
- Quality seems to be hit or miss for some
BEST MCT OIL FOR KETO
100% pure premium MCT oil with lauric acid, harvested from coconuts. Onnit MCT Oil is sustainably sourced and contains no palm oil…
5. BEST MCT OIL POWDER: SPORTS RESEARCH MCT OIL POWDER
Sports Research is back on the list, this time for their powdered form of MCT oil. Just like its liquid counterpart, this MCT oil is derived from organic coconuts, is USDA Organic Certified, Keto and Vegan Certified, and Non-GMO Verified.
You can expect to get the same benefits as you would from liquid MCT oil products, but in a creamier when mixed package. This might be a great option for someone who is looking to get a somewhat smaller dose of medium chain triglycerides due to the amount being 6 grams of MCTs versus the approximately 14 grams in liquid versions.
Also in this product, you get 3 grams of Organic Acacia, which is a great natural prebiotic that will help keep your digestive system functioning as optimally as it can.
- Added benefit of a prebiotic
- Smaller dose for those sensitive to gastro side effects
- Doesn’t have the “greasy” effect liquid MCT oils can have
- Less MCTs for your money
- Incorporation into anything other than liquids not possible
What is the Best MCT Oil for Ketosis?
It’s a popular supplement, but what is MCT oil, anyway?
Put simply, MCT oil is oil rich in medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil is a precursor to beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is a ketone body (fat molecule) the human body can use for energy.
The best MCT oil for ketosis is probably the one with the highest amount of caprylic acid. Many MCT oils have almost as much capric acid as they do caprylic acid, however, so if ketosis is your goal, you’ll want to skip these in favor of another oil.
Before I dig into this round-up of the best MCT oils for ketosis, one important point: beware cheaper oils that don’t explicitly list their caprylic acid content. There are hundreds of companies out there vying for your money by offering blends of C8, C10, and C12, alongside other fillers such as maltodextrin (a sugar) and emulsifiers and such. If a company isn’t clear about their oil being pure C8, from sustainable sources, and naturally distilled and purified without chemicals, steer clear. Chances are it will not live up to the hype and may cause adverse effects such as gastrointestinal distress.
#1. Nuton’s Brainfood Pure C8 MCT Oil
Nuton’s Brainfood Pure C8 MCT Oil (View price on Amazon) comprises more than 95% caprylic acid, with no lauric acid. This non-GMO MCT oil comes in a tall BPA-free bottle with a spill-resistant top similar to that of an olive oil bottle. Most other MCT oils come in a shampoo-type plastic bottle, leading to spills and slippery messes.
At around $30 for 33.8 fluid ounces ($0.97/fl. oz.), Nuton’s Brainfood oil is a lot less expensive than the Bullet Proof Brain Octane and relatively inexpensive compared to most other competitors. That’s despite Nuton MCT Oil being made in the USA from organic coconuts grown in Malaysia – the company claims that 12 lbs. of organic coconuts go into making every bottle.
Like Bullet Proof’s oil, Nuton’s is naturally extracted using a chemical-free steam distillation process. The acid is converted into oil using glycerin sourced from the organic coconuts themselves. You can mix this one into coffee, tea, soups, and smoothies or use it for low temperature cooking or baking.
Why do I give Nuton first prize for best MCT oil for ketosis? Well, unlike Bullet Proof, this oil is made with organic coconuts and has that spill-free top, in addition to costing less.
#2. Bullet Proof Brain Octane
If you’ve only heard of one company making MCT oil, my bet is that it’s Bullet Proof. This company, founded by David Asprey, put a modern spin on the old yak butter beverage tradition by developing Bullet Proof Coffee (and ruining many a good cup of joe, at least in my opinion). Nowadays, Bullet Proof make a range of products featuring MCT oil, including one of the best MCT oils for ketosis, Bullet Proof’s Brain Octane Oil
This oil is close to 100% caprylic acid (accounting for those glycerin molecules needed to turn the acid into oil). It contains no lauric, capric, or caproic acid. Because this oil is made only with C8 MCTs, it is quickly converted to ketones and used for energy, giving your body and brain a more noticeable boost. Thanks to the mild, slightly nutty taste, you can add it to salads, sushi, soups, and coffee, or just take it by the spoonful.
It’s not just the caprylic acid content and the taste that impresses me though. Brain Octane is also expeller-pressed using only pressure, is refined and purified using water, heat, and pressure, and is produced in the USA from 100% coconut oil.
Why do these things matter? Well, because a large number of lower quality MCT oils are produced using problematic chemical solvents like hexane, are refined using chemical accelerants, and are made overseas under less strict manufacturing regulations. In addition, unless MCT oil is sourced from credibly certified sustainable palm kernel oil, chances are it is contributing to the widespread destruction of the environment, specifically wild orangutan habitat in Southeast Asia.
The downsides to the Bullet Proof Brain Octane are that it is quite a bit more expensive than many other MCT oils at $48.95 for 32 fluid ounces ($1.53 / fl. Oz.) and has a reputation for being a bit ‘drippy’, leading to a slippery bottle and potential waste and spills. The bottle cap itself is also prone to problems, slipping on the thread and leading to spills. My advice is to decant this oil into a glass jar with an easy-pour jar topper or into some other reusable vessel that can be sealed but that pours more easily.
So, despite Bullet Proof Brain Octane having a lot going for it, it’s not my top pick for the best MCT oil for ketosis. Instead, my top pick is Nuton’s Brainfood Pure C8 MCT Oil
#3. MiCkey T Eight MCT Oil
Are there any other contenders for the best MCT oils for ketosis? A close runner up is MiCkey T Eight MCT Oil. Made in the USA from coconut oil and sustainable palm kernel oil and comprising almost 100% caprylic acid, this MCT oil is also non-GMO, kosher, and halal certified. The palm kernel oil is certified RSPO (Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil) and the company offers a certificate of analysis to back up their claims. Oh, and they provide the MCT oil in a BPA-free bottle.
#4. Clean MCT Oil
Clean MCT Oil is another good option. It costs $34.94 for 32 fl. oz. in a plastic bottle, or $42.99 for the same amount in a glass bottle. This oil is made from non-GMO coconuts and comprises almost 100% C8 caprylic acid, with no lauric or capric acid or fillers. The plastic bottle is BPA-free and the bottles have a convenient pouring cap. Clean MCT Oil is triple steam distilled in a chemical-free process and the company claims the coconuts are sustainably sourced, with the product made in the U.S.
#5. Kiss My Keto MCT Oil Softgels
And finally, if you find the liquid oil unpalatable or inconvenient for traveling or use at work, consider Kiss My Keto’s MCT Oil Softgels. The MCT oil is derived from organic coconuts and is extracted in a chemical-free process. It is encapsulated in gelatin, however, meaning that it isn’t vegan or vegetarian. Their recommended dose is 3 capsules up to five times daily and you can either swallow the softgels or drop them into a hot beverage, whereupon the capsule will dissolve to release the oil.
The MCT oil itself comprises 55-63% caprylic acid (C8) and 37-45% capric acid (C10) – I found three different percentages listed by the company for the same product, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Either way, this isn’t pure C8 oil, meaning it’s not quite as ketogenic as straight-up caprylic acid MCT oil liquids. Still, it appears to be one of the best MCT softgel options around for ketosis as it is free from lauric acid, favoring the more quickly converted MCTs.
The same folks who make Clean MCT Oil used to make 100% C8 capsules too, but these seem to have vanished from the market. If travel-friendly MCT oil is what you’re after, and you’re adamant about using pure C8, you might want to check out Bullet Proof’s Brain Octane Go Packs. Each packet contains 1 tablespoon of their C8 MCT oil. That makes the Go Packs a handy portable option if you’re already used to taking that amount. Otherwise, you may want to use a clip to reseal the sachet and make it last a few days while on the roa