The coconut-oil derivative MCT oil and ketosis are a match made in heaven for diet weight loss
The prevailing thought for many years regarding weight loss was that it depended entirely upon diet and exercise. While it is true that these two factors still play an important role in healthy weight loss, recent research has also uncovered other supplemental factors.
One of the leading factors involves how the body processes fats. People with a high metabolism can often process fats at a higher rate than those with a low metabolism. As a result, people with a low metabolism rate must put in more effort toward weight loss to achieve the same results as would somebody with a higher metabolism.
But what if there was a way to speed-up how fast the body processes certain fats?
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which contains medium-length triglyceride fats, appears to help promote weight loss in a number of ways, including promoting more efficient fat processing. It is often extracted from coconut oil, which is its most abundant source.1
MCT oils play a key role in very low-carb, or ketogenic diets, which have been found very effective for weight loss, as well as the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.4
Read further to see how MCT oil and ketosis may help your patients jump-start their ketogenic weight loss plan.
The ketogenic effect
The main hallmark of a ketogenic diet is a dramatic reduction in carbohydrate intake, usually to less than 50 grams per day, and a relative increase in proportions of protein and fat.4
When the body does not have enough carbs to burn for energy, it will look for other sources to burn, such as fat. When the body burns fat, it produces ketones, thereby putting the body into a ketogenic state, which usually takes 3-4 days for healthy adults.4 MCTs easily convert into ketones, so MCT oil can help keep the body in a ketogenic state, thereby increasing weight loss.
MCT-assisted weight loss
There are a number of ways in which MCT oil and ketosis may help your patients lose weight. A 2016 article in the journal Nutrients showed that MCT oil increased the release of the peptide YY and leptin hormones, both of which can make people feel full, and thus reduce their food consumption.2
This article also found that study subjects who consumed two tablespoons of MCT oil at breakfast ate less food at lunchtime compared to those given the same amount of coconut oil at the same time.2
A 2008 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effect of MCT oil or olive oil on a group of 49 clinically-overweight men and women.3 Subjects received 18-24 grams per day of either oil as part of a 16-week weight loss program. Weight and waist circumference were measured weekly, and fat tissue distribution was measured at baseline and at the end of the study.
At the end of the study, subjects taking MCT oil showed more weight loss and greater loss of total fat mass than those taking olive oil, as well as more loss of fat located in the trunk and abdominal area.3
Losing weight to improve health can be a frustrating process for your patients with a slow metabolism, particularly if it is related to other health conditions. Fortunately, a ketogenic diet that included MCT oil can help them jump-start their weight loss progress.
- Rial SA, Karelis AD, Bergeron KF, Mounier C. Gut microbiota and metabolic health: The potential beneficial effects of a medium chain triglyceride diet in obese individuals. Nutrients. 2016;8(5):281.
- Kinsella R, Maher T, Clegg ME. Coconut oil has less satiating properties than medium chain triglyceride oil. Physiol Behav. 2017 Oct 1;179:422-426.
- St-Onge MP, Bosarge A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(3):621-626.
- Paoli A, Rubini A, Volek JS, Grimaldi KA. Beyond weight loss: A review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets [published correction appears in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014 May;68(5):641]. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013;67(8):789-796.