Medium-chain Triglycerides or simply MCTs are kind of a big deal in the world of nootropics. Some biohackers prefer to take them alongside their noots owing to the belief that they help support cognition. You might have also heard that they are so good at promoting weight loss and sports endurance.
So, just how true are those claims? And what are some of the best MCT oil examples if any? Stick around to learn more.
MiCkey T Eight
What Are MCT Oils?
Simply put, these are oils that contain 6 to 12 carbon atoms. As such, they do not belong to the long-chain fatty acid family which contains 13 to 21 carbon atoms. Likewise, they don’t belong to the short-chain fatty acids ground which is made up of oils with fewer than 6 carbon atoms.
Okay now, that’s too much scientific stuff already. So let’s break it down further for you.
One unique characteristic of MCTs is that they go straight to the liver from your gut. In other words, no bile is produced to break them down.
Another thing, these oils are always in high demand in the body. And since they are used right away, they are not stored within the body and that’s probably why some experts recommend them for weight management.
Potential Benefits to Your Brain Health
If we were to sum up the benefits of MCT oils to biohacking, we’d say (1)Endurance and (2)Brain Energy. In a 2009 study, Dr. Nosaka and his team of 4 researchers reported that supplementing on MCTs instead of long-chain fats helped improve endurance among athletes who were involved in high-intensity workouts.
Endurance is quite important whether you’re working out or not. In the past, we have talked about adaptogens like Rhodiola Roots, Ashwagandha, and Bacopa Monnieri and how they can promote brain health by supporting endurance. MCT oils can do the same thing although they are more about physical endurance than mental endurance.
Moving on, a 2016 study by Dr. Stephen C. Cunnane appearing on the journal of New York Academy of Sciences indicated tremendous benefits of MCT oils in relation to brain energy. In particular, Stephen and his team reported that they observed better take-ups of ketones in people with Alzheimer’s when they used these oils.
Ordinarily, people with Alzheimer’s tend to absorb glucose at the brain level poorer than healthy people.
An extra point worth noting is that the ketones produced through MCT-rich diets have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. With this comes a major benefit in terms of better absorption of fat-soluble nootropics. Some examples of fat-soluble nootropics that are better absorbed when taken alongside MCT oils include:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Gingko Biloba
- Vitamins A, K, D, and E
Top Recommended MCT Oils in 2023
Without further ado, we’d like to provide you with some examples of the most popular MCT oils that we came across during our research. Hopefully, you’ll find the next few paragraphs useful in your quest to make an informed choice.
Bulletproof is no doubt a leading brand in the manufacture of brain supplements. They are behind the popular Bulletproof coffee which is quite popular in coffee shops in the West Coast. What we like about this brand is that they take quality seriously.
And since they have a brand to keep, you can rest assured that they’ll do the best they can to provide you with high-quality MCT oil as well.
It’s, therefore, no surprise that their Octane Oil is among the best-selling ones on platforms like Amazon currently. The product is extracted from coconuts and taken through a chemical-free distillation process. That ensures you only get a clean and pure product to use.
What’s more? This caprylic-acid-rich oil has a slightly nutty flavor. And so far, a majority of those who have used it seem to be liking it.
This MCT oil from Onnit has been getting a lot of press lately owing to the good reputation the Onnit Lab brand has garnered so far. First off, this oil is harvested from coconut oil and is rich in lauric acid.
One thing you need to know about lauric acid is that it is quite good for your gut health thanks to its antibacterial properties. A healthy guide equals to a healthy brain.
The low-calorie oil has also been linked to weight-loss benefits. And to make the deal even sweeter, it is labeled as dairy-free, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free.
And if you’re one of those who care for the environment, you’ll be glad to learn that Onnit plays a leading role in its conservation. That’s quite important especially keeping in mind that most of the MCT oil we take here in America is harvested from palm-oil tropical rainforests on Borneo and Indonesia which have come under wanton destruction of late.
And as we have already noted, this particular brand of oil from Onnit is entirely made up of coconut oil. The good thing with coconut oil is that it’s more adaptable to different kinds of environment and only the fruit part of it is harvested.
That makes it a more sustainable source of MCT oils and that’s why Onnit prefers to use it.
MiCkey T Eight
This brand of oil is special in the sense that it contains pure C8 MCT oil. In fact, on this list so far, its level of quality can only be matched by the Bulletproof Brain Octane oil.
So, what’s C8 for MCTs? You might be wondering. Generally, medium-chain triglyceride fatty acids are categorized as either C6, C8, C10 or C12. It’s the C8 version of it that contains the highest form of purity for the acrylic acid.
In science, they say that caprylic acid seems to be most active at the C8 version of fatty acids. And that’s why we’re excited to confirm that this particular product from MiCkey T Eight meets that exact requirement.
Another thing, this product is certified as Halal and Kosher-certified. Unlike its competitor from Bulletproof, it is colorless and odorless. Therefore, if you have food sensitives or don’t like the nutty flavor of Bulletproof Brain Octane, this would be a great product instead.
What’s more? We found it to blend quite well with coffee and shakes. However, it feels a bit too oily if you take it on its own. Its high smoking point makes it ideal for cooking as well.
This is a rare type of oil in the sense that it provides you with a blend of C8 (caprylic acid) and C12 (lauric acid). That said, the company also has another version of this oil that’s made up of C8 only. So, in terms of variety, you’ve got to give it up to Sports Research.
One of the attributes of this company that we really like is that it confirms to taking its products through third-party testing. That’s no mean feat especially in the world of dietary supplements where safety matters a lot.
Another thing, this product is entirely made up of coconut oil. There’s no palm oil here. Plus the product is duly certified as Non-GMO.
The oil is also odorless so if you feel like throwing up when the idea of taking oil with a nutty flavor comes up, this would be a good alternative to settle for. If anything, it has a high smoking point which means you can comfortably use it for preparing your daily meals as well.
And the best part is that the manufacturer provides you with a 90-day money-back guarantee. So, it’s either you get the good stuff or your money back. How cool is that?
If you’re looking for affordable medium-chain triglyceride oil, this product from Nuton might just be the right choice for you. It is keto- and paleo-certified and above all, it contains a blend of C8 and C10.
Just like all the other premium-grade oils reviewed so far, this one is made from pure coconut oil. And this is not just harvested from any other category of coconut trees but ones grown organically.
So, it’s safe to call it an organic MCT oil source. It’s also claimed to be made through a simple, natural steam distillation process without the use of any harmful chemicals. That said, the company hasn’t provided any USDA certification to this effect.
It is worth noting that this oil doesn’t contain lauric acid (C12). Lauric acid is the longest fatty acid chain. And although it’s good for your digestive system, it’s a bit complex and not preferred for people on extreme weight loss diet programs.
Last but not least, it comes with a well-made, non-spill bottle. The bottle is categorized as BPA-free which is a big plus for any health-conscious person.
This is yet another one of the affordable oils that are quite popular out there in the world. In keeping up with the trends, it’s made up of pure coconut oil (there are no traces of palm oil in it).
On top of that, it contains a combination of caprylic and capric acids.e. C8 and C10. In other words, you only get the best of the MCT fatty acids here. C6 is normally not included in the blend because of its smell.
That said, we feel that a bit of lauric acid should have been added to this blend. Why? Because it helps a lot in the digestive process and is particularly great for people prone to stomach complications.
Also, it’s not clear if this company produces 100% C8 products. For now, all we can confirm is that they stock a blend of C8 and C10.
This is one of the finest top-grade MCT oils available on the markets currently. So, it’s safe to say that we saved the best for last.
The oil is harvested from organically grown coconut plants whose authenticity is double-checked and certified by the good old USDA Organic. We particularly like the fact that this oil doesn’t have any weird taste or an oily feeling to the tongue. So, it’s really easy to get used to even if this is your first time trying out MCT oils.
Although it doesn’t come cheap, we genuinely feel that this is a solid supplement. In fact, this is one of the few MCT manufacturers that bother to provide a breakdown of their ingredients. This is a great thing as far as transparency goes.
For instance, we can confirm that this product contains a mixture of caprylic acid and capric acid per serving. We could have been happier if it had a bit of lauric acid but also understand that the acid would have probably made it less appealing to anyone on a strict weight-loss mission.
The absence of lauric acid in this product’s list of ingredients makes it highly likely to cause digestive issues. So, it should only be taken in small quantities.
Whether you’re a biohacker or a fitness enthusiast who wants to lose weight, MCT oils can be a great addition to your supplement routine. And although we feel that more long-term and large-scale studies need to be done on them, so far, their merits heavily outweigh their demerits.