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MCT Powder and Digestive Health: What You Need to Know

Gundry MD Team
7th December 2023
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If you’re wondering about the best way to help support your digestive system and weight management efforts? MCT powder is a great, versatile option for a convenient and easily digestible source of energy.

MCTs, particularly caprylic and capric acids, may help foster a healthy gut microbiome. MCT powder is a dietary supplement derived from medium-chain triglycerides, often sourced from coconut oil.

When considering whether to add MCT powder as a dietary supplement, you’ll want to consider all of its potential benefits and how you can best use it. Let’s take a deeper look.

Understanding MCT Powder

MCT powder is a dietary supplement made from medium-chain triglycerides, which are saturated fats that can be easily absorbed and used for energy. This form of MCT oil offers convenience and versatility without sacrificing any of the potential health benefits associated with it.

The Difference Between MCT Oil And MCT Powder

MCT powder is formulated by combining MCT oil with an accompanying carrier, such as acacia fiber. This blend enables the preservation of potential health benefits while forming a more convenient product. Pure coconut oil serves as the primary base for high-quality MCT powders and oils.

Sources Of MCTs

Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are a kind of fatty acid found in several sources such as coconut oil, dairy products, and palm kernel oil. Of these, coconut oil is far and away the winner in terms of its abundant concentration of these beneficial fats (around 42% lauric acid, 7% caprylic acid, and 5% capric acid).

To achieve pure MCT oil or powder form, another process must be used called “fractionation.” This helps extract the desired medium-chain triglycerides for use in dietary supplementation, offering concentrated convenience.

The Role Of MCTs In Digestive Health

Including MCTs in your diet can help support a healthy digestive system. These medium-chain fatty acids offer many potential benefits, such as providing an easily-used source of energy, supporting the balance of gut bacteria, and aiding in the absorption of nutrients.

Supporting Gut Microbiota

MCTs are known to have positive impacts on gut health due to their beneficial effects on the gut microbiome. They can help increase levels of helpful bacteria while keeping down amounts of potentially harmful bacterial populations, helping to support digestive wellness.

Enhancing Nutrient Absorption

MCTs offer a convenient source of healthy fats, as they are quickly absorbed by the body. This fast absorption helps provide enhanced nutrient uptake from the digestive system.

Digestive benefits extend beyond just faster absorption. MCTs, with their short-length molecules, have also been shown to increase absorbency levels within the stomach. These shorter chains also promote more efficient use at a cellular level.

MCT Powder And Mitochondrial Uncoupling

Unlike any other fat, MCT oil is absorbed directly through the wall of your gut into your bloodstream and goes directly into your liver. In the liver, MCT oil is converted into ketones, and ketones are what stimulate mitochondrial uncoupling.

In a landmark 2008 study, researchers at Columbia University compared two groups of overweight people eating a diet with the same number of daily calories with one critical difference: one group ate olive oil, the other group consumed MCT oil. Fascinatingly, the individuals who ate MCT oil generated more heat, burned more oxygen, and lost more weight than those who consumed olive oil.

If getting into ketosis and uncoupling your mitochondria is what you want, MCT oil is the way to go.

MCT Powder For Weight Management

MCT powder can be of great help to those who want to manage their weight, as it helps boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and enhance body composition. By adding this type of supplement into your daily lifestyle, you can benefit from the advantages mentioned above and strive for a better body weight as well as improved composition.

Boosting Metabolism

MCTs have been demonstrated to be valuable in terms of helping with weight management. They act by promoting the metabolic rate, which is beneficial for burning more calories and fat as energy. Also, MCT consumption can activate the brown adipose tissue (BAT) responsible for thermogenesis (producing heat from breaking down food molecules), further supporting weight management efforts.

Appetite Control

MCTs have the potential to help you manage your weight by enhancing feelings of fullness and suppressing hunger. Research suggests that these fatty acids have the ability to create greater satisfaction with smaller food intake.

Enhance Body Composition

MCTs have been found to be beneficial for body composition and weight management goals. MCTs are thought to enhance fat oxidation, which means the body may use more fat for energy. This could be beneficial for individuals looking to reduce body fat.

How To Use MCT Powder

When adding MCT powder to your diet, it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually to allow your body to adapt. This will help minimize potential stomach upset and allow you to get the most potential benefits from this supplement. Additionally, MCT powder may be easier on the digestive system than MCT oil, so keep that in mind as a “plus” if you’re considering trying it.

Incorporating MCT powder into food or drinks can be done in many ways. It’s a useful addition to any diet, as it can easily be blended into an array of dishes and drinks. From protein shakes to your morning cup of coffee, tea, soup recipes or even baked goods, you can enjoy its potential benefits regularly with ease.

MCT Powder: A Powerhouse For Digestive Energy

MCT powder has the potential to be a helpful tool in achieving optimal health by supporting digestive function, promoting weight management, and promoting overall wellness. It’s wise to start with small dosages and then gradually increase it, incorporating this supplement into meals or drinks for maximum effect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is MCT Powder Better Than MCT Oil For Digestive Health?

For some, MCT powder may be gentler on the stomach than MCT oil. MCT powder is often mixed with a carrier, like acacia gum, which may be better on sensitive stomachs than MCT oil.

The powdered version of MCTs may make it more accessible for those seeking the potential benefits without compromising digestive comfort. Seek out the highest quality MCT powder you can find if you’re interested in trying it out.

Is MCT Powder Suitable For Everyone?

While generally safe, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before adding MCT powder -- or any other type of dietary supplement -- to your daily routine.