Immersed in the world of essential oils, oil blends, and hemp tinctures, we really know our fats. Or, if you want to use the fancier term—triglycerides. Because we want you to be an informed consumer, it is important to us that you know all there is to know about our products. Today, we get to learn all about Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), what they are, and why you should care.
What are Medium-Chain Triglycerides?
Before we can understand MCT’s, we must first talk a little bit about fats in general. Triglycerides are the main lipids (fatty acids) used by the body for long term energy storage. They are all made up of glycerol, a sugar alcohol, with 3 carbon chains attached. These lipids can be either saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fats contain the maximum number of hydrogen atoms, while unsaturated fats are missing some hydrogen and contain at least one break in the typical carbon-to-carbon bonds.
Triglycerides also vary according to carbon chain length. Most triglycerides have long carbon chains. These triglycerides contain between 13 and 21 carbon atoms. Common examples are corn, soy, and safflower oils. Then there are short-chain fatty acids (SCTs). These have less than 6 carbon atoms, and they are produced in your colon. Eating dietary fiber promotes the development of short-chain fatty acids. These fats reduce your chances of getting colorectal cancer, limit the growth of harmful bacteria in your intestines, increase mineral absorption, and help you stay satiated. Finally, there are medium-chain triglycerides.
Medium-chain triglycerides are also known as medium-chain fatty acids, MCT, capric or decanoic acid, caproic or hexanoic acid, caprylic or octanoic acid, and lauric or dodecanoic acid (so many names!). MCT contains between 6 and 12 carbon atoms. Because MCT contains such a short carbon chain, these fats are broken down and absorbed much more quickly than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). This efficiency means that MCT is much more likely to be used for energy than fat storage.
But where does MCT come from?
Where is MCT From?
MCT oils are extracted from high sources of medium-chain triglycerides—generally palm kernel oil or coconut oil. This is done in order to concentrate the number of medium-chain triglycerides. With a process called fractionation, the MCT content of coconut or palm kernel oil is boosted from around 50% to 100%. Fractioned means the product has been divided or broken down. This process saves your body some energy, and, as a result, MCT oil gets metabolized even quicker than its source oils.
The highest sources of medium-chain triglycerides are palm kernel oil and coconut oil. Dairy products also contain some MCT’s, but in much lower amounts.
At ProHEMP, we use only pure, organic MCT fractionated from pure, organic coconut oil.
Because of its many beneficial properties, MCT is commonly used as a health supplement. Replacing your regular fats with MCT oils might even aid in weight loss.* MCTs contain fewer calories than LCTs, improve satiety, are more quickly metabolized, and might even increase your body’s calorie burning capabilities.* MCTs are also associated with lower cholesterol, when compared with LCTs. They might even improve brain function and moderate blood sugar levels.
While these benefits are compelling, the main reason that we use MCT oil in our tinctures is because these oils have no smell, no taste, and they create the perfect foundation for our hemp tinctures. This is especially important in our line of adaptogenic hemp tinctures! With subtle combinations of herbs and flavonoids, MCT makes the cinnamon vanilla flavor of our Mobility Turmeric and Ginger blend stand out. The mushroom focused Immunity blend with Echinacea and Reishi can still sport an orange flavor. Our Sleep blend can supply much needed Melatonin with a subtle Berry flavor. And, lastly, the Balance and Stress blend can be jam-packed with Ashwagandha and grapefruit flavor! It’s not just the adaptogenics though! MCT also helps our Mixed Berry, Mint Chocolate, and Unflavored/Natural Hemp tinctures taste great.
With all the health advantages and ideal blending properties of MCT, it is no wonder that we use MCT oil in our popular hemp tinctures. Hopefully you have a better idea of why MCT oils are the very best options for these products.
Now that you know more about our hemp products, it’s time to find out for yourself what all the hype surrounding hemp, cannabinoids, and MCTs is all about!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.