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Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, have become especially popular as the word spreads about the many benefits of nutritional ketosis, or when you successfully use fat as your primary fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates. This burning of high-quality fats produces ketones.
Ketones are the ideal fuel for your mitochondria because they burn cleanly and produce far fewer damaging free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS), compared to glucose from carbohydrates.
MCT oil is particularly valuable for creating ketones and maintaining nutritional ketosis:
- MCTs bypass normal digestive processes, diffuse across your intestinal membrane and go directly to your liver to be used as a clean-burning fuel for your entire body and brain
- MCT oil is a great way to get extra fat, and because it is completely odorless and tasteless, and actually enhances flavor, you can add it to foods and beverages for extra fat calories
- Because of their rapid conversion to energy, MCTs are an ideal way to help squelch hunger pangs, and boost satiety and satisfaction on a ketogenic diet
Something many people don’t realize about MCTs is the fact that there are many different kinds, depending on their chemical structure or carbon length. Shorter-chained MCTs are more readily converted into ketones.