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Originally published November 16 2013

Medium chain triglycerides: Super fats

by John McKiernan

(NaturalNews) Word is finally starting to spread about the many health benefits of saturated fat. One type of saturated fat in particular, known as medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs, possesses many extremely unique properties. These fats, which range from 6 to 10 carbons in length - long chain fatty acids range from 12 to 18 carbons in length - behave much more like carbohydrates than fats.

They are readily available to be used as energy, whereas other fats must be broken down in the intestines before they can be used for fuel. MCTs are known for speeding up the metabolism and increasing energy by boosting ketone production. They've even been proven effective as a weight loss aid.

But the benefits don't stop there. Medium chain triglycerides may have anti-aging and brain-boosting effects, and they have proven to be useful in the treatment and prevention of a variety of diseases. Coconut oil, which is 50-60 percent MCTs, is the best natural source of these less common fats. Pure MCT oil can also be purchased as a dietary supplement.

Loss weight and increase energy

Most animal studies have shown that the higher level of energy expenditure attributed to medium chain fatty acids means less gain in body weight and a decrease in fat deposits, when compared to long chain fatty acids. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that MCTs not only increase energy but curb appetite as well - two key factors in weight loss.

A 2003 study published in Obesity Research compared MCTs with LCTs for 28 days in 24 overweight men who were otherwise healthy. The result was that the MCT group had a greater loss in body fat, perhaps due to higher energy output. The study concluded that MCTs are effective in both promoting weight loss and preventing obesity.

Heart disease and anti-aging

A 1986 paper published in The Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology reported that the 1978 United Nations Demographic Yearbook found that Sri Lanka, a country whose people's main dietary fat is coconut oil, had the lowest death rate from coronary heart disease (heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world). The paper also noted that rats who consumed MCTs had lower body weight, smaller fat deposits and excellent survival rates. These heart health statistics speak to the powerful anti-aging effects of medium chain triglycerides.

Increase brain function

A 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found MCTs to be effective in boosting the cognitive performance of Alzheimer's patients after a single 40 milliliter (just under 3 tablespoons) dose. This effect is likely due to an increase in ketone production. Ketones, which serve as an alternative fuel for the brain, are produced when MCTs are digested. These ketone-boosting effects, which have proven useful in treating Alzheimer's patients, can likely boost cognitive function in healthy individuals as well. In addition, the extra ketone bodies provide more overall energy, which makes MCT oil an especially beneficial supplement to take prior to physical exertion.

Other applications

Anti-aging guru Ward Dean, MD, notes that MCTs can also be useful in treating diseases involving impaired fat metabolism, including atherosclerosis, biliary cirrhosis, pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.

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See more health news articles by John McKiernan at The Holistic Truth

See more health news articles by John McKiernan at The Holistic Truth

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