Chronic inflammation is the No. 1 killer and is expected to “increase persistently” over the next three decades, but can be curbed with organic MCT oil
Organic MCT oil is a hot commodity for people experimenting with “biohacking” to reduce inflammation and pain, lose abdominal fat and to give themselves a daily brain boost.
Researchers from the National Institute of Health, Mayo Clinic Health System, and the V.A. Medical Center all agree on one fact: chronic inflammation kills more people worldwide than any other cause. And it’s only going to get worse.
In an article published by StatPearls in January 2021, health experts from these three agencies reported that three out of every five deaths globally are due to some type of chronic inflammatory disease. Conditions mentioned in this statement include heart disease and stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and chronic respiratory disorders.
Further, the rate of disease that is characterized by chronic inflammation is expected to “increase persistently” over the next three decades. That is unless action is taken to help better control the level of inflammation in society as a whole. One potential solution is organic MCT oil.
MCT oil for reduced inflammation
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil is created from medium-chain triglycerides and it has been connected with a reduced inflammatory response and other health benefits. According to research published in the journal Foods in 2019, organic MCT oil serves as an anti-inflammatory in two different ways:
- It down-regulates pro-inflammatory cytokines
- It elevates anti-inflammatory cytokines
In short, organic MCT oil helps regulate inflammatory markers.
A 2015 study reveals that MCT oil might work more favorably than some other types of oil for attenuating an inflammatory response. This study involved 60 preterm neonates with gestational ages ranging from 26-32 weeks. Subjects receiving MCT oil via intravenous fat emulsion had significantly lower levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, two cytokines that often signal that inflammation exists.
Additional health benefits of MCT oil
Other pieces of research have tied MCT oil with additional health benefits, such as healthier cholesterol levels. For example, a 2017 study noted that taking virgin coconut oil, which contains medium-chain triglycerides and long-chain triglycerides, raised participants’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. This is the type of cholesterol associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
A 2021 study in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease indicates that MCT oil can also potentially prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought to work by instigating a ketogenic effect. Research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences explains that a ketogenic diet — a low-carbohydrate diet that is high in fat — increases the number of ketone bodies in the system. This not only reduces inflammation but also helps protect aging brain cells.
Yet another benefit of MCT oil is that it has been found to aid in weight loss. One study involving 31 people reported that MCT oil was more effective at helping participants lose excess body weight than olive oil. Those taking the MCT oil had greater reductions in total fat mass, with their fat being especially reduced in their abdominal region.
In 2017, Practical Gastroenterology shared a review that outlined even more positive effects of MCTs, namely for their ability to help treat certain gastrointestinal disorders. MCTs are promoted as being beneficial for these conditions because they are absorbed more easily, thereby reducing fat malabsorption and optimizing the patient’s nutritional status. Among the disorders mentioned were pancreatic insufficiency, chyle leaks, and short bowel syndrome.
Patients taking organic MCT oil also report feeling a great clarity and focus.
As the Designs for Health blog says, “Anecdotal reports from young, healthy Silicon Valley execs feeling a “brain boost” from putting MCT oil in their morning coffee are interesting, but what about real-world applications? … The good news is, MCT research is quite promising, especially compared to the list of Alzheimer’s drugs that have failed to have any beneficial impact … MCT oil [in one study] resulted in a 230% increase in total brain ketone metabolism (measured by PET scan). Cognitive scores in several tested domains improved in direct relation to the increase in plasma ketones and/or brain ketone uptake.”
Finding the right dosage
Although the 2017 review highlighted MCT oil for its ability to help relieve a variety of gastrointestinal issues, it further noted that excessive intake of his supplement can have the opposite effect and instigate gastrointestinal distress instead. This includes causing cramping, increased gas and bloating, and diarrhea.
Therefore, these experts recommend not exceeding 50-100 grams of MCT oil per day, which equates to 4-8 tablespoons. Ideally, this dosage should be split evenly across daily meals and can be mixed with the foods and beverages being served.
If patients wish to use organic MCT oil to assist with weight loss, the previous study mentioned found positive effects for fat loss when consuming a much smaller amount, somewhere between 18 to 24 grams per day. This suggests that the actual amount of oil being consumed may vary based on the desired results.
Because it may upset the gastrointestinal tract if too much is taken, starting with a low dose and slowly increasing it enables patients to find the best dosage for them without suffering abdominal distress. As with any supplement, it is also recommended that they speak with their primary care physician first to ensure that it is safe for them given their health and physical condition.