MCT Oil: What Is It, and How Can It Help with Fat Loss?

If you’re serious about maximizing your time in the gym by fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to perform at an optimum level, you’ve probably come across countless supplements and dietary fads that claim to boost your results. But in the case of MCT oil, which has been gaining plenty of recent spotlight, the research behind it can actually back up its fat-burning benefits.

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which are dietary fats that have been shown to aid in fat loss, increase energy, and boost athletic performance [1]. Primary sources include coconut oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products, and refined MCT oil as a supplement or for cooking. MCTs differ from LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) in that they’re comprised of smaller molecules, they’re more water soluble, and they require less energy to be broken down. Thus, MCTs are more readily absorbed and processed through your digestive tract than LCTs [2]. So why should you add MCTs to your diet to enhance your results?

1. Help You Feel Fuller Longer

Due to how efficiently MCTs are absorbed and turned into energy by your body, they can actually help to curb your appetite. One study found that those who consumed more MCTs than LCTs on a daily basis ate an average of 62.5 fewer calories each day, which translates to 22,812.5 fewer calories over the span of one year [3]

a small container of MCT oil sits in front of a cracked open coconut

2. Burn More Body Fat Than LCTs

MCT consumption has also been shown to reduce more body fat than LCTs, which include the fats found in olive oil and red meat. Research shows that by using MCT oils instead of LCT, you can burn more body fat when performing the same amount of work, helping you achieve your fat loss goals more efficiently than would otherwise be possible [4]. Studies suggest this is due to the fact that your body can convert MCTs into usable energy much more quickly than is the case with LCTs, making MCTs a much more efficient energy source to fuel your body.

Father cooking with his soon, pouring oil over some veggies in a bowl

3. Reduce Inflammation

MCT oils like coconut oil are also known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which come along with a whole host of health benefits [5]. When you reduce inflammation, you should notice a significant improvement in joint function and mobility, cognitive function, sleep habits, and energy levels.

Integrating MCT oils into your diet can be as simple as adding a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to your morning coffee or substituting refined MCT oil for other cooking oils in your recipes.


[1] Nutrition Review
[2] Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[3] Journal of the American College of Nutrition
[4] The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[5] Health Impact News