“MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid. They may also go by the name “MCFAs,” which stands for medium-chain fatty acids. A pure source of fatty acids is MCT oil.

MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All fatty acids are composed of linked carbon and hydrogen strands.

Fats are categorised by how many carbons they have: Less than six carbons make up short-chain lipids (like butyric acid), six to twelve carbons make up medium-chain fats, and 13 to 21 carbons make up long-chain fats (like omega-3s).

Compared to longer-chain fatty acids, MCTs are absorbed more easily since there’s less work for the body to do breaking apart carbon bonds. Because MCTs are smaller, they can more easily penetrate our cell membranes.

easily and don’t require that we use special enzymes in order for our bodies to utilise them.

What does MCT oil do to make it a top source of healthy fats? Medium-chain fats can change your metabolism because they are quickly digested and sent to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect.

This is one reason why many people say that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for energy, or “fuel,” instead of being stored as body fat.

There are actually a few different forms of MCTs, some that are likely more effective than others. The four different types of MCTs are as follows:

caprioc acid (C6)
caprylic acid (C8)
capric acid (C10)
lauric acid (C12)
For the most part, the shorter

the chain (meaning the lower the number of carbons the acid has), the faster the body can turn the fatty acids into usable energy, in ketone form. The body produces ketones when it switches from using glucose as an energy source to using fat, as it does when someone is on the keto diet.

Regardless of the exact kind of MCT, all are still beneficial for overall health — especially for people who have a difficult time digesting other forms of fats, including anyone with conditions tied to malabsorption problems, digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder infections and so on.

Traditional populations living in tropical areas have been consuming saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for thousands of years without any ill effects — so consider the idea that a low-fat diet is “healthy” to be one of the biggest nutrition lies there ever was!