Coconut oil is getting its due praises for its numerous benefits lately, including helping to banish blemishes, upping the moisture factor in dry hair, and quelling menacing breath and other oral issues through oil-pulling. Health and beauty regimens everywhere are calling for the saturated fatty acid known in the health industry as both medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), and approximately 65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are actually MCTs. What we may not realize is that the health benefits are not just topical or beauty-related, but also benefit our organs and biological processes in powerful ways.
Known to be lacking in the traditional western diet, these fatty acids are now being promoted through western media, more recently citing preventive and healing benefits such as how much easier it is for the human body to digest and gain the nutritional benefits—such as brain and heart health—from MCTs oils like coconut oil.
MCTs are considered by many health professionals to be an ideal source of essential healthy fats. Easy digestibility and a direct route to the liver, gives these oils a great shot at fueling the body, instead of prompting it to store fat, thereby helping to maintain a healthy metabolism.
Gut health is also heightened by MCTs; they help fight off bad bacteria, stave off viruses, and help our bodies navigate fungi and parasites.
The antioxidant properties of MCT oils help with the inflammation that increases our overall health risks.
Weight management – because MCTs and saturated fats help us feel full longer, weight loss is a common benefit of consistent MCT ingestion.
Combatting hormone imbalances, correcting digestive issues, and relatedly, mood improvement, are also reported benefits of MCT oils.
Use Caution When Buying Good Fats
To be clear, MCTs and coconut oil are not the same thing. Coconut oil contains MCTs, and there are some reported and documented health benefits that might be missing from concentrated MCT oils. One caveat to buying manufactured MCT oil is the uncertainty of the overall ingredients and process. Some manufacturers may refine the oil, or include filler oils, thereby lessening its effectiveness. Minimize the risk of buying low quality MCT oil by looking for ones that list all ingredients and openly state their manufacturing process.