What is MCT Oil
What is a mtc oil you may ask. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. This is a type of saturated fat which can be found in coconuts, palm cournal, and some other foods. It absorbs very easily into the body and can be beneficial in many ways. When we hear the word saturated fat, we are automatically trained to think that it is bad for you. While that is true to a point, there are also some positive effects that it can have as well.
There are three chains of fats when it comes to saturated fats, short chain, medium chain, and long chain triglycerides. They are named this because of the length of the carbon and hydrogen atoms that they have. The shorter the chain, the easier it is for the body to absorb. Long chain triglycerides have the highest content of hydrogen atoms. This increases LDL cholesterol, while MCT actually increase HDL and control LDL cholesterol.
There are some natural substances that have MCT’s in them. Because these foods may have more chemical basis for only one of the four different chemical bases for MCT’s, it is much better to take them in the form of a pill or oil. This way there can be an equal percentage of the different MTC’s. Because there are different MCT’s, you should do your research before purchasing anything. Make sure that there is an equal percentage for all four types. These include: caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. The MTC caprylic acid was recently approved for use with treatment of Alzheimer. This may also be what helps treat epilepsy as well.
Effects of MCT oil
Medium chain triglycerides also have a thermogenic effect to them which can assist in weight loss. It can assist in inflammation, digestion, bacterial, fungal, and heart health. Here, we will focus on the effects that it can have on epilepsy. The ketogenic diet has been used for quite some time to assist patients not having any results with anti epileptic drugs. Using MCT supplementation may be a way of assisting with the use of the ketogenic diet. This is because it is less restrictive in what you can consume. Although this is true, you should still follow a healthy eating plan.
Effects it has on seizures
In one study, a subject which was having up to 4 seizures a day. The subject was put on MCT oil taking one tablespoon twice a day. After the subject had been taking MCT oil and had adjusted to it, his seizures went down from 3-4 a day, to one every 4 days. This was a marked improvement. At one point in the study, the subject ran out of MCT and when this happened, the frequency of seizures increased, but when put back on MCT oil, the seizures decreased again. Although the MCT oil seemed to play a very big part in the reduction of seizures, they still could not be totally sure that was the only reason for the improvement and more studies will need to be done.
Although there are many positive effects of medium chain triglycerides as mentioned, there can also be some side effects as well if you are new to using it. These may include: mild headache, fatigue, and an increase in heart rate. These side effects should go away shortly when your body gets used to the level of MCT’s that it causes.
MCT’s and ketogenic diet
There are actually two forms to the ketogenic diet, the classic diet, and the MTC ketogenic diet. Both are restrictive on the carbohydrates you consume. The classic diet uses long, medium, and short chain triglycerides, while the MCT form uses only medium chain. Using more medium chain triglycerides is just as if not more effective as the basic ketogenic diet. Using a MCT form of the ketogenic diet also provides a better choice of foods. The MCT diet which is a type of ketogenic diet it less restrictive. Some studies have shown though that when using the ketogenic diet, 50% of the subjects had a 50% decrease in the frequency of seizures, while 25% of the subjects had a 90% decrease in the frequency of seizures, and 10% of the subjects had a 100% reduction and were seizure free.
Although both of the diets are effective, it is probably more advisable that one tries supplementing with MCT oil or pills before starting either ketogenic diet. This way there should be fewer issues concerning kidney stones, a low bone density, and other side effects which can be seen when one is on the ketogenic diet. When using supplemental MCT you are getting more of it than you would just being on the diet alone. This means that the best option would probably stay with the classic ketogenic diet still restricting the carbohydrates you consume, restricting simple sugars that are in processed foods, while taking the MCT’s in pill or oil form.
These results are remarkable concerning the decrease in the frequency of seizures that were seen. More studies are needed prior to knowing that MCT’s are the main factor in the reduction of seizures. Both the MCT ketogenic diet and the classical ketogenic diet are good options. Staying with the classical ketogenic diet, while taking a supplement may be the best way to start out. You should first discuss with your doctor if this is a good option for you.