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Old 11-29-2012, 06:57 AM   #1
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Concerns about MCT oil

If this has already been discussed and I missed it, I apologize.

My brother, who really does his research, told me that MCT oil is basically what's left when the cosmetics industry gets done extracting what they want out of coconut oil, namely the lauric acid. And the lauric acid is the healthiest and most beneficial of the medium-chain fatty acids in CO. So they're marketing a by-product as something very healthy, when in fact, while it's certainly not harmful, it's just not that beneficial.

From what I've been able to determine online, he's right:

1. The lauric acid is indeed what has been shown to have the most health benefits (anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressing, etc.).

2. Those brands of MCT oil for which I can find the information online, say that they are comprised of 8- and 10-carbon chains (capric and caprylic acid) and don't mention any 12-carbon chain content (lauric acid).


So, it seems to me, that if your motivation for buying it is to simply have a good source of fuel, then it's fine. But if, like me, you're wanting the anti-inflammatory benefits as well as the fuel, then you're better off sticking with pure, unprocessed coconut oil.

If anyone can offer any additions or corrections to what I've learned so far, I'd be grateful for the information. I'm not out to slam MCT oil or anything, I just want to know the best ways to spend my food budget!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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I'm coming up blank for what MCT stands for. But in our house we use virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil and it is NOT a byproduct of industrial processing of any sort, nor has it been stripped of any fatty acids. The refined coconut oils aren't as useful, nor is any heat refined oil except lards and tallows.

If MTC is a stand-in for medium chain triglyceride, I would say I know of nobody who recommends buying such an oil on that qualification alone. The nutrition of the oil goes beyond just the fatty acid composition, which is why unrefined sources are recommended.

I could be completely misunderstanding your post, though!
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #3
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I use the Tj's brand and here is what their site says about the process:

To make our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil our supplier starts with freshly harvested coconuts that are de-husked and grated. Then, when the meat of the coconut is still fresh, it’s cold pressed and filtered to remove any remaining pieces of the fruit. That’s the process. Nothing more. Some coconut oil is extracted using high heat, chemicals and even bleach. Not ours. Producing the oil in this more pure, natural way, we are able to retain the nutrients, flavor characteristics and aromas of fresh coconuts.

I don't think it is a cosmetic industry by product!
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:42 AM   #4
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I don't think it is a cosmetic industry by product!
If I read the OP correctly, she was referring to MCT oil, which you can buy on it's own, not coconut oil.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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I apologize for being unclear. I'm just pondering whether buying (processed) MCT oil is worthwhile compared to (unprocessed) pure coconut oil, because I've heard people claim that MCT is better. So far, I am concluding the opposite.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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I'm still unclear as to what MCT stands for - was I correct in thinking it was medium chain triglycerides? If so, I agree buying the fractioned and processed product is no good - coconut oil is valuable for far more than just the chemical structure of the lipid!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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I'm still unclear as to what MCT stands for - was I correct in thinking it was medium chain triglycerides? If so, I agree buying the fractioned and processed product is no good - coconut oil is valuable for far more than just the chemical structure of the lipid!
Yes, I apologize . . . Again! . Sorry about that. I did indeed mean medium chain triglycerides, but particularly the commercial oils.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #9
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Sorry! I didn't understand.

Doesn't virgin co have mcts?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
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No, clearly my fault because everyone was confused by what I wrote! One of the problems is that there is "MCTs" (medium chain triglycerides) and then there is "MCT oil" which is a specific commercial product that is rich in MCTs. And I mistakenly assumed that when I said MCT oil, everyone would know I meant the bottles of oil for sale in health food stores, and not the class of fatty acids in general. My bad!

Yes, virgin cococnut oil is very rich in MCTs. But the irony is that commercial MCT oil has the most beneficial of those MCTs removed! Weird, huh?

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:24 PM   #12
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This is very interesting...I have been using mct oil for several months instead of coconut oil when I don't want the coconut taste. I was feeling so happy about it because its also fewer calories. I just looked at the nutrition facts and it does not have the 12 chain...just 8 and 10 it's funny too because I have been wondering if it really had all the benefits of coconut oil when it's been extracted. Anything with the word extracted attached to it just doesn't seem ...I dunno...complete or whole or all. Sigh. First quest bars, now this....

I guess sticking with real coconut oil is safest...now if I could find one that is cold pressed and unrefined with minimal taste (never been a fan of tropical tastes or smells).

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:43 AM   #13
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I will have to alert metqa to this thread. She is the authority on coconut/mct oil around here. I did a search on mct oil and came up with this:

MCT oil?

and then this came up too:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ma...8-mct-oil.html
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlieschmoo View Post
This is very interesting...I have been using mct oil for several months instead of coconut oil when I don't want the coconut taste. I was feeling so happy about it because its also fewer calories. I just looked at the nutrition facts and it does not have the 12 chain...just 8 and 10 it's funny too because I have been wondering if it really had all the benefits of coconut oil when it's been extracted. Anything with the word extracted attached to it just doesn't seem ...I dunno...complete or whole or all. Sigh. First quest bars, now this....

I guess sticking with real coconut oil is safest...now if I could find one that is cold pressed and unrefined with minimal taste (never been a fan of tropical tastes or smells).
I think that if you really don't like the taste of coconut oil, then there are probably some benefits to using MCT! I like the taste of coconut oil in certain applications, so for me, I just don't see the need to buy MCT (unless perhaps to make mayo, that is something I'm pondering.) I guess it just depends upon how much of a purist you are, and how important the lauric acid is to you.

Just curious if you've ever tried red palm oil? It's also a tropical oil with lots of beneficial fatty acids. But it does have a very strong taste - nothing at all like coconut, but very distinctive. Personally I really love it for savory applications, like frying an egg, while I prefer the coconut for either sweet or Asian (especially curry) dishes. It does turn your food orange, though. And no one else in my family seems to like it. But I think it's delicious!

What did you find out about quest bars that turned you off of them? I was eating them quite a bit there for awhile, but such a big dose of protein with very little fat didn't work out so well for me.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dawnyama View Post
I will have to alert metqa to this thread. She is the authority on coconut/mct oil around here. I did a search on mct oil and came up with this:

MCT oil?

and then this came up too:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ma...8-mct-oil.html
Thanks! I will check these out.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gretalyn View Post
I think that if you really don't like the taste of coconut oil, then there are probably some benefits to using MCT! I like the taste of coconut oil in certain applications, so for me, I just don't see the need to buy MCT (unless perhaps to make mayo, that is something I'm pondering.) I guess it just depends upon how much of a purist you are, and how important the lauric acid is to you.

Just curious if you've ever tried red palm oil? It's also a tropical oil with lots of beneficial fatty acids. But it does have a very strong taste - nothing at all like coconut, but very distinctive. Personally I really love it for savory applications, like frying an egg, while I prefer the coconut for either sweet or Asian (especially curry) dishes. It does turn your food orange, though. And no one else in my family seems to like it. But I think it's delicious!

What did you find out about quest bars that turned you off of them? I was eating them quite a bit there for awhile, but such a big dose of protein with very little fat didn't work out so well for me.
I just got a gallon of red palm shortening---with no odor and I believe no color. I have not opened the gallon jug yet but I got it on sale with free shipping so I figured why not try it? I heard that red palm oil has a distinct taste and color and wanted to try it, but was afraid of those things. So I went with the option I got!!! Cannot wait to try it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Girlieschmoo View Post
This is very interesting...I have been using mct oil for several months instead of coconut oil when I don't want the coconut taste. I was feeling so happy about it because its also fewer calories. I just looked at the nutrition facts and it does not have the 12 chain...just 8 and 10 it's funny too because I have been wondering if it really had all the benefits of coconut oil when it's been extracted. Anything with the word extracted attached to it just doesn't seem ...I dunno...complete or whole or all. Sigh. First quest bars, now this....

I guess sticking with real coconut oil is safest...now if I could find one that is cold pressed and unrefined with minimal taste (never been a fan of tropical tastes or smells).

I have 2 different kinds of coconut oil for that very reason. I don't like my eggs tasting like coconuts. I have the virgin coconut oil for my daily "supplement" and then I use the expeller pressed for my cooking and baking. My family, who hates coconut anything, doesn't even realize they are getting a healthy for them oil I suggest you buy from Tropical Traditions---I buy everything coconut from them. I love the Baby Silk lotion/cream, coconut soap, coconut peanut butter, coconut shreds, coconut flour......I could go on. They have a great FAQs section too. Click on the coconut oil tab and at the bottom of that list is the FAQs. Very good reading!!!
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #18
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I have been using some MCT oil, but I am careful to use coconut oil too. MCT oil is convenient for things like smoothies or salad dressing, where coconut oil would solidify and make a nasty texture.

I was wondering, though, about the refinement, and will give it a second though before I buy a new bottle as it's expensive stuff!
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by dawnyama View Post
I just got a gallon of red palm shortening---with no odor and I believe no color. I have not opened the gallon jug yet but I got it on sale with free shipping so I figured why not try it? I heard that red palm oil has a distinct taste and color and wanted to try it, but was afraid of those things. So I went with the option I got!!! Cannot wait to try it.
Let us know what you think about the red palm shortening after you've tried it, dawnyama. I've read about it and am curious, but I'd like a review before trying it myself.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #20
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Hey Dawn, I got your note in Gracie's Thread!

Um, Okay, Gretalyn, what you said in your very first post pretty much is it.

MCT is a byproduct ( I guess it's really the goal of) of the removal of the Long Chain Triglycerides and, unfortunately for us, also the lauric acid, but that doesn't make it a bad, harmful or useless product. It would be wonderful if some company would make an MCT oil that still contains the lauric acid, but at the moment, money rules, and there's more money in taking the Lauric Acid for specific uses. It's kinda misleading to call it the by product when nobody actually wants the LCT of coconut oil. Hehe.

Now, just because something is leftover doesn't make it useless or bad. There are benefits to the whole unprocessed oil, that contains both MCT, LCT and tastes and smells; There are benefits to to the refined whole oil that contains MCT, LCT but no taste or smell. There are Downsides to the whole oil if you are looking for a specific outcome.

If you are trying to boost a ketogenic state, LCT will not help with that. if you are trying to reduce fat but still have the metabolism boosting part of coconut oil, then the plain oil, while ripe with anti inflam, antibio, immune boosting goodness, will also contain LCT which will be more readily stored as fat and require longer digestion.

MCT oil ( even without the lauric acid) is still two of the remaining medium chain triglicerides and the main reason why coconut oil is such a popular oil. If for example you were to remove the MCT from CO and gave somene the remaiing LCT, they won't get any more benefit than if they ate some other LCF from nuts or animal. There are a few short chain fatty acids also that are in the whole oil.

So, it's not true to say that MCT oil is a waste product or "not as good", it depends upon your expectations.

Do know that the Lauric acid that is the immune boosting FA is NOT in MCT oil, but is in any other CO, refined or virgin. I didn't buy my MCT oil for the Lauric Acid(which it doesn't have anyway) but for the fact that it is just Medium chain triglycerides and nothing else. Also for the benefit of staying liquid in cold temps, and the benefit of quick burning non-carb energy.

One good example of the benefit of MCT oil is someone wanting to have both a low fat but also ketogenic diet. LCT take a long time to digest and require bile digestion in the small intestine before it can be used as energy. That also gives it a chance to be STORED as fat instead of being used as energy. By choosing a very lean diet of low carb veggies and lean meats but supplementing with MCT oil as the cooking oil, that person can get the joy of cooking with fat, the benefit of low carb, the benefit of quick digesting fat as energy, and the benefit that MCT are ketogenic and metabolism boosting and no chance of it being stored as body fat.

In epileptic children where ketones are the "medicine" for the brain, you get better and more ketone formation with MCT oil than with pure coconut oil.

For someone just finishing a workout, If you want a boost after your workout but don't want to ruin your fat burning by eating carbs, MCT oil will give you the same quick energy as carbs without the carbs or long digestion. A Quick Post workout smoothie with mCT oil instead of sugar is the Lowcarbers option.

So for all my yammering, Gretalyn, your first post actually does a pretty good summary of what people should know when choosing coconut oil and mCT oil.

That's why I have many choices: Virgin coconut oil, refined for cooking and MCT oil for special circumstances. They all have their drawbacks and benefits.
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Last edited by metqa; 11-30-2012 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlieschmoo View Post
This is very interesting...I have been using mct oil for several months instead of coconut oil when I don't want the coconut taste. I was feeling so happy about it because its also fewer calories. I just looked at the nutrition facts and it does not have the 12 chain...just 8 and 10 it's funny too because I have been wondering if it really had all the benefits of coconut oil when it's been extracted. Anything with the word extracted attached to it just doesn't seem ...I dunno...complete or whole or all. Sigh. First quest bars, now this....

I guess sticking with real coconut oil is safest...now if I could find one that is cold pressed and unrefined with minimal taste (never been a fan of tropical tastes or smells).
Have you looked at Spectrum? I think they have a Deodorized but unrefined coconut oil, but it's been a while since I've bought from Spectrum. But it was my first oil and I wouldn't have gone further if it smelled strongly, luckily for me it didn't.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:13 PM   #22
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Thanks metqa

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:16 PM   #23
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Metqa, I've read that you should not heat or cook with MCT oil because it is less stable than coconut oil. Is that incorrect?
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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Interesting discussion. Bumping
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #25
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Ooh, I learned a point! Thanks Metqa!
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #26
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Well, yes and no. You can heat it, but you don't want to do any high temp cooking with it. No frying, but quick low heat saute heat transfer may be okay. I saw a mother in a video using it to lightly cook some vegetables in a skillet. Dr. Recommended diet, so I assume it can't harm it that much since that was the whole point of using it.

You could bake with it. light heat saute, add to hot soup and simmer... just no high temp. ( What counts as High temp, I'm not sure of an exact number but most people have some idea, if it smokes its too high, so lower than that)

Last edited by metqa; 11-30-2012 at 01:51 PM.. Reason: clarification...
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:01 PM   #27
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MetQa, thank you so much! I really appreciate the clarification. I think that for the most part, I'll stick with CO for my purposes, but I definitely see what you mean about how it depends upon what you want out of the product. I will consider it for this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by metqa View Post
For someone just finishing a workout, If you want a boost after your workout but don't want to ruin your fat burning by eating carbs, MCT oil will give you the same quick energy as carbs without the carbs or long digestion. A Quick Post workout smoothie with mCT oil instead of sugar is the Lowcarbers option.
That sounds pretty handy! My hubby works out more intensely than I do, so I'll mention this to him. He might want to give it a try.

Again, thank you very much for your help!
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:12 PM   #28
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Gretalyn, my pleasure. I had to be sure about the details myself when I first thought about buying it, cause it is a pricey purchase, but now it seems to me to be worth it.

I found this:
Quote:
MCT oil can be used as a salad dressing, and as a cooking oil. However, MCT should not be heated to temperatures above 375 F or 150 - 160 C because it will oxidize and
breakdown, adversely affecting the taste.
So one can cook with it just not above 160 C or 375 F degrees. I'm glad I found that.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:25 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Gretalyn View Post
I think that if you really don't like the taste of coconut oil, then there are probably some benefits to using MCT! I like the taste of coconut oil in certain applications, so for me, I just don't see the need to buy MCT (unless perhaps to make mayo, that is something I'm pondering.) I guess it just depends upon how much of a purist you are, and how important the lauric acid is to you.

I do make my mayo with it and love it because it's flavorless! The lauric acid is important though so maybe I will keep making mayo with it but use coconut oil for my tea, etc...

Just curious if you've ever tried red palm oil? It's also a tropical oil with lots of beneficial fatty acids. But it does have a very strong taste

I have never even HEARD of it

What did you find out about quest bars that turned you off of them? I was eating them quite a bit there for awhile, but such a big dose of protein with very little fat didn't work out so well for me.
There is a thread right now about Quest bars and blood sugars. I noticed that they spike my blood sugar and am so annoyed. I was really hoping to find something that was filling, 5 or fewer ingredients, tasted good and satisfied my sweet need. Thought this was it but nope. Sigh. When you say they didn't work out for you, in what way?

Last edited by Girlieschmoo; 12-01-2012 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:38 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlieschmoo View Post
There is a thread right now about Quest bars and blood sugars. I noticed that they spike my blood sugar and am so annoyed. I was really hoping to find something that was filling, 5 or fewer ingredients, tasted good and satisfied my sweet need. Thought this was it but nope. Sigh. When you say they didn't work out for you, in what way?
I'll have to check out that thread. I can't remember off hand if I've ever checked my bg after eating one. I remember some months ago (maybe a year?) there was a conversation about protein shakes raising some people's bg. So I checked, and it did not have that effect on me. Since quest bars are also whey protein, I was assuming they were okay too. But maybe there's another issue there, so I will check to be sure.

I still use the quest bars from time to time for a few things - I'll take one on a long hike, that sort of thing. But I was really into them for awhile, and was eating them much more frequently. But it's a lot of protein, and not a lot of fat, in one shot. And I've found that I do best keeping my protein intake moderate, and eating lots and lots of fat. So now, on the rare occasion that I do have a quest bar when I'm at home, I'll microwave it for just a few seconds to warm it up, and smear a ton of butter on it! I wish they would come up with a high-fat version.
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