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The Top 9 Reasons To Use MCT Oil For Brain Health
Nov 30, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

The Top 9 Reasons To Use MCT Oil For Brain Health

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 17 min read
The Top 9 Reasons To Use MCT Oil For Brain Health

Amidst the myriad of health supplements, one extraordinary contender stands out for brain health: Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) Oil. But what exactly is MCT Oil, and how does it benefit our brain?

MCT Oil is a unique form of fat metabolized differently than other types. Derived primarily from coconut oil, it's packed with benefits that are game-changers for brain health. 

When you consume MCT Oil, it's rapidly absorbed and transported to your liver, where it's converted into ketones. These ketones are a super fuel for your brain. Unlike glucose, they provide a more sustained energy source, enhancing cognitive function, memory, and focus.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. MCT Oil also exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, vital in maintaining brain health and slowing cognitive decline

So, if you're looking for a natural way to boost your brain power, MCT Oil might be your secret weapon. Dive into the world of MCT Oil with us and discover how this simple supplement can transform your cognitive health and overall well-being.

1. Quick Source of Energy for the Brain

Have you ever craved a quick energy boost for your brain, especially during those mid-afternoon slumps? Here's where Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil, a remarkable supplement, steps in. Let's dive into how this oil works its magic:

  • Rapid Conversion to Ketones: Unlike other fats, medium-chain fatty acids, which make up MCT oil, have a unique ability. Once ingested, they head straight to the liver, swiftly converting into ketones (1).
  • Ketones: Superfuel for the Brain: These ketones cross the blood-brain barrier—a selective gateway that protects our brain. They provide an instant energy source (2), much like a quick charge for your brain's batteries.
  • Organic MCT Oil vs. Glucose: Traditional brain energy sources, like glucose, take a longer path for energy production. MCT oil, on the other hand, offers a faster route (3). Think of it as the express train of energy compared to the local train that is glucose.
  • Boosting Cognitive Function: Regular intake of medium-chain triglyceride oil can lead to sustained cognitive function. This means enhanced memory, sharper focus, and overall improved brain performance.

So, if you're looking for an efficient and organic way to fuel your brain, consider adding MCT oil to your diet. It's like giving your brain a premium, fast-acting energy source, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently.

2. Enhances Cognitive Functions

"Brain fog" ever feel like your daily nemesis? Enter the world of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), a true ally in the battle for better brain function. These power-packed nutrients, commonly found in pure MCT oil, virgin coconut oil, and palm kernel oil, are not just ordinary fats but cognitive enhancers in disguise.

  • Ketones: Your Brain's New Best Friend: Adopting a ketogenic diet? MCTs are your go-to. They transform into ketones, providing a more efficient energy source for your brain cells and improving memory and concentration.
  • Evidence-Based Benefits: In randomized controlled trials (4), individuals with mild cognitive impairment witnessed significant cognitive improvements thanks to MCTs. It's not just hearsay; it's science-backed brain health (5)!

Now, think about it—a simple tweak in your diet, perhaps a dash of virgin coconut oil in your morning smoothie, could unlock a day of clearer thinking and sharper focus. MCTs are more than just a health trend; they're a lifestyle choice for anyone aiming to keep their mental edge razor-sharp. 

3. Support in Neurological Disorders

Support in Neurological Disorders

MCT oils are more than just a drop in the ocean when tackling challenging neurological disorders. Especially for conditions like Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, the role of medium-chain triglyceride supplementation is emerging as a beacon of hope.

  • A Different Approach for Alzheimer's: Alzheimer's disease often leads to reduced glucose metabolism in the brain. As an alternative energy source, MCT oil can help improve cognitive function, particularly in moderate Alzheimer's disease cases (6).
  • Epilepsy Management: In the realm of epilepsy, ketogenic diets rich in MCT oils have been a game-changer (7). They help reduce seizures, especially in cases where traditional treatments fall short.
  • Bridging the Gap in Cognitive Functioning: Clinical trials (8) have shown that MCT supplementation can enhance memory function and cognitive functioning (9) in patients with neurological disorders and healthy young adults.

Unlike long-chain triglycerides found in some saturated fats, MCTs offer a unique metabolic pathway, particularly beneficial for brain health. This is crucial in conditions like Alzheimer's and epilepsy, where normal brain energy metabolism is disrupted.

4. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

In our quest for optimal brain health, tackling inflammation is vital. That's where the unsung hero—MCT supplement—steps in, wielding its anti-inflammatory powers to safeguard our brain.

  • Soothing the Brain: Inflammation in the brain can be a silent troublemaker (10), disrupting neural function and paving the way for neurodegenerative diseases (11). With their anti-inflammatory properties (12), MCTs help calm this internal storm, promoting improved brain function.
  • Supporting Neurological Health: MCTs contribute to a healthier brain fuel supply by reducing inflammation. This is crucial not just for cognitive outcomes but also for preventing conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia.

So, think MCTs next time you're pondering a simple yet effective way to boost your brain health. These tiny molecules pack a punch against inflammation, making them a must-have in your health arsenal.

5. Antioxidant Properties

Did you know that MCT oil isn't just a source of energy but also a shield against one of the brain's stealthy enemies—oxidative stress? Adding it to your morning routine for energy does more than just increase your energy in the morning

Let's delve into how this powerhouse oil doubles up as a brain protector.

  • Guarding Against Free Radicals: Every day, our brain battles free radicals, which can lead to oxidative damage. This is where MCT oil, rich in components like caprylic, capric, and lauric acid, steps in. It acts as an antioxidant (13), safeguarding the brain against this damage.
  • Longevity and Cognitive Health: Our brain's defense system needs extra support as we age. Regular MCT oil supplementation can be crucial in maintaining cognitive health and longevity, as evidenced by cognitive testing in various studies (14).

For those considering adding MCT oil to their regime—whether it's to manage body fat or to enhance overall health—its antioxidant properties are a compelling reason. Not only does MCT oil help maintain a healthy body, but it also plays a crucial role in supporting brain health against age-related cognitive decline.

6. Potential to Enhance Mood and Reduce Anxiety

Potential to Enhance Mood and Reduce Anxiety

MCT Oil steps in with a promising rhythm in the intricate dance of brain health and emotional well-being. It's not just about fueling the brain; it's about tuning our emotional strings too. This makes it a perfect addition to a morning routine for mental health.

  • Mood Booster: Ever noticed how a foggy brain often leads to a gloomy mood? MCT Oil can help clear that fog, offering a natural mood uplift. By enhancing brain function, it indirectly aids in stabilizing mood swings and improving overall mental clarity.
  • Stress Buster: In today's fast-paced world, managing stress is as essential as managing your inbox. Incorporating MCT Oil into your diet can be a simple yet effective strategy for better stress management (15)—its ability to fight stress makes it an effective addition to a morning routine for depression. By ensuring a steady supply of energy to the brain, it reduces anxiety and keeps stress at bay.

So, consider reaching for MCT Oil next time you feel down or overwhelmed—consider adding this supplement to your morning routine for anxiety

Whether it's a spoonful in your morning coffee or a part of your daily supplement routine, this small addition could make a big difference in how you feel and cope with daily stressors. 

7. Supports Weight Management and Metabolic Health

Did you ever think the secret to a sharper brain could lie in weight management? Surprisingly, MCT Oil plays a crucial role in intertwining metabolic health with cognitive prowess.

  • Weight Loss Ally: Numerous randomized controlled trials have pointed out how regular use of MCT oil can aid in weight loss (16). It's not about drastic dieting; it's about how MCT oil optimizes your caloric intake and metabolism.
  • Cholesterol and Cognitive Health: Lowering LDL cholesterol is another MCT oil perk that indirectly benefits brain health. After all, a healthier cardiovascular system means better blood flow to the brain, enhancing cognitive functions.
  • Targeting the Trouble Spots: Struggling with belly fat or eager to improve muscle strength? MCT oil can be your go-to keto diet component. It helps target stubborn fat (promoting fat burning) and supports muscle maintenance, essential for a healthy body and, consequently, a healthy mind.

So, if you want to lose or maintain a healthy body weight, consider incorporating MCT oil into your diet. It's not just about shedding pounds or inches; it's about empowering your brain through improved metabolic health. 

8. Improves Sleep Quality

Improves Sleep Quality

Imagine if a simple change in your diet could lead to a night of more restful sleep. With MCT Oil, this isn't just a dream. It's a reality that can enhance both your slumber and your brainpower.

  • Soothing Sleep Patterns: Integrating MCT Oil into your diet might be the key to unlocking better sleep. While energizing during the day, it also helps balance your body's energy levels, promoting a more restful night.
  • The Sleep-Cognition Link: Ever noticed how a poor night's sleep can leave you groggy and unfocused? Quality sleep is crucial for optimal brain function. MCT oil indirectly boosts your cognitive performance by improving sleep quality, ensuring you're sharp and alert the next day.
  • Holistic Approach to Well-Being: Good sleep is a cornerstone of overall well-being, and MCT Oil plays a part in this holistic approach. Better sleep leads to better brain function and improved quality of life.

So, consider adding a dose of MCT Oil to your daily routine. It's not just about fueling your body; it's about nurturing your sleep patterns, which are essential for a sharp, focused mind. 

9. Synergistic Effects with Other Nutrients

Think of your brain as a high-performance engine. Just like a car needs the right fuel mix to run at its best, your brain thrives when it gets a synergistic blend of nutrients. In this context, MCT Oil is like a turbocharger when combined with other brain-healthy nutrients.

  • Perfect Pairing with Omega-3s: MCT Oil and omega-3 fatty acids make a formidable duo. While MCT Oil provides quick energy, omega-3s in fish and flaxseeds contribute to improved brain cell structure and function.
  • Harmony with Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Combine MCT Oil with foods high in antioxidants, like berries and leafy greens, for an enhanced protective effect against cognitive decline. This combination helps fight oxidative stress, a key factor in brain aging.
  • Balanced Diet for a Balanced Mind: Incorporating MCT Oil into a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential fatty acids ensures that your brain receives a comprehensive spectrum of nutrients. This not only boosts brain function but also supports overall health.

Adding MCT Oil to your diet isn't about replacing other nutrients; it's about enhancing the benefits of a balanced, varied diet. It's like creating a symphony of nutrients where each element supports and improves your brain health.

FAQS About MCT Oil For Brain Health

Does MCT Oil Benefit People With Neurological Conditions Like Parkinson's Or Alzheimer's?

Yes, MCT oil can benefit people with neurological conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's

Its ability to be converted into ketones provides an alternative energy source for brain cells, which is particularly helpful in these conditions where brain energy metabolism is often impaired. 

Studies suggest that this alternative fuel can support cognitive function and potentially slow down the progression of symptoms in these neurodegenerative diseases.

What Is The Recommended Dosage Of MCT Oil For Brain Health?

The recommended dosage of MCT oil for brain health varies, but generally, it's advised to start with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) per day and gradually increase to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) daily

It's essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially for specific health conditions.

How Long Does It Take To Experience The Cognitive Benefits Of MCT Oil?

The time it takes to experience the cognitive benefits of MCT oil can vary from person to person. 

Some individuals might notice improvements in focus and mental clarity within a few hours after consumption, while for others, it might take a few days or weeks of consistent use to observe significant cognitive benefits. 

The effects largely depend on one's individual metabolism and dietary habits.

Key Takeaways

As we've journeyed through the myriad of benefits MCT oil offers, it's clear that this is not just any supplement; it's a powerhouse for brain health. 

From sharpening your cognitive abilities to protecting against neurological disorders, MCT oil is like a secret weapon for your brain. It works tirelessly to ensure your mental engine runs smoothly, helping you stay focused, alert, and mentally agile.

Whether you're battling brain fog, seeking to enhance your memory, or looking to fortify your brain against the challenges of aging, MCT oil could be the game-changer you need. It's more than just a supplement; it's a commitment to your brain's health and overall well-being.

So why not give it a try? Incorporate MCT oil into your daily routine and watch as it transforms your cognitive functions and your life. And remember, every incredible journey begins with a single step - or, in this case, a single spoonful.

We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with MCT oil. Have you tried it? Have you noticed a difference in your cognitive functions or overall health? Drop a comment below and join the conversation. Your insights could be the beacon of light for someone on their path to better brain health!

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  1. Medium Chain Triglycerides Modulate the Ketogenic Effect of a Metabolic Switch, (1),
  2. Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases, (2),
  3. Ketone Bodies in the Brain Beyond Fuel Metabolism: From Excitability to Gene Expression and Cell Signaling, (3),
  4. Pilot feasibility and safety study examining the effect of medium chain triglyceride supplementation in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial, (4),
  5. Medium-chain triglycerides may improve memory in non-demented older adults: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, (5),
  6. The Effects of Medium Chain Triglyceride for Alzheimer’s Disease Related Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, (6),
  7. Dietary medium chain triglycerides for management of epilepsy: New data from human, dog, and rodent studies, (7),
  8. Dietary medium chain triglycerides for management of epilepsy: New data from human, dog, and rodent studies, (8),
  9. Use of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil in subjects with Alzheimer's disease: A randomized, doubleblind, placebocontrolled, crossover study, with an openlabel extension, (9),
  10. Maintaining Brain Health by Monitoring Inflammatory Processes: a Mechanism to Promote Successful Aging, (10),
  11. Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration development, (11),
  12. Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil Affects the Immunophenotype via Reprogramming of Mitochondrial Respiration in Murine Macrophages, (12),
  13. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil, (13),
  14. The Effects of Medium Chain Triglyceride for Alzheimer’s Disease Related Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, (14),
  15. Virgin coconut oil abrogates depression-associated cognitive deficits by modulating hippocampal antioxidant balance, GABAergic and glutamatergic receptors in mice, (15),
  16. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil, (16),

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