What is the difference between coconut Oil and MCT Oil and Surely Coconut Oil is better?
This a question that gets asked a lot and the answer is a simple one, while coconut Oil may contain MCTs the body processes it and Pure MCT Oil differently.
Essentially coconut oil is a mix of fats and other components:
- Capric Acid 5% C8:0
- Caprylic Acid 7% C10:0
- Lauric Acid 52% C12:0
- Myristic Acid 17% C14:0
- Palmitic Acid 8% C16:0
- Oleic Acid 6% C18:0
- Other components 5%
C6-12 are defined as Medium Chain fatty Acids or Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).
C12 and higher are defined as Long Chain fatty Acids or LCFAs. Please note that Lauric C12 sits on the border of medium and long chain!
What makes MCTs unique is that their tail length is short enough that it allows them to be absorbed through the mitochondrial membrane directly into the portal vein and into the liver. Some of the MCTs do however find themselves taking the long route via the lymphatic system.
So here is where it gets complicated and the easiest way to describe it is to use the concept of a school playground.
Take a playground at break time where the aim is to have as much fun as possible before the bell rings. In the MCTs case its get absorbed before the digestion process sweeps you away. Now MCTs on their own are like an all-day play pass because they don’t trigger the normal digestive process and require little or no pancreatic lipase or bile salts. Add long chain fats to the mix and the break clock starts to tick.
In the playground there are tires (the gaps in the mitochondrial membrane) and crawling through them leads to a slide (the portal vein) which in turn leads to another play area (the liver). C8:0 is the very small kid who flies through and C10:0 are the medium kids who can easily crawl through but poor C12 is the big kid who takes little longer to get through.
What this means in a normal digestion process, as would be triggered by coconut oil because of its 31% LCFA content, is that all of the C8 would make it through, most of the C10 would make it through and some of the C12 would make it through.
The problem is that it’s the rapid absorption that allows MCTs to impact the body the way they do and in a tbsp. of coconut oil all the Caprylic makes it, most of the Capric makes it and only some of the Lauric makes it in time.
In the case of MCT oil on its own which is only C8 and C10, almost 100% of its makes it to the liver.
If you add butter to the MCT mix and do trigger a digestive response over 95% of the MCTs still make it and the butter serves to add additional long chain fats to the mix which provide prolonged energy.
If you want to drink coffee with coconut oil, there is nothing wrong with that but don’t kid yourself or let anyone else kid you, you are not drinking Battleproof™ Coffee.
Battleproof™ Coffee is formulated to harness the benefits that large amounts of MCTs hitting the liver provide and to do have this happen you in fact have to have large amounts of MCTs making it straight to the liver.