MCT oil is an invaluable nutritional supplement for Low Carb and Keto diets, but what's the difference between C8 & C10 MCT Oil? And which is best? Here's what you need to know.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a food product most often used as a nutritional supplement. MCT stands for "medium chain triglycerides", which classifies the length of the fat according to it's chemical composition.
Without getting too in-depth, most fats are long chain fatty acids - and so medium-chain fats are shorter in length. This is important because it means that they are quicker and easier to digest, which is the underlying mechanism for most of their health benefits.
Unlike other oils which contain a mixture of longer and medium chain fatty acids, MCT oil is solely medium chain fatty acids which have been extracted to provide a pure source of MCTs.
Is MCT Oil the same as coconut oil?
Whilst MCT oil is often compared to coconut oil, there are some key differences between the two and they are not created equal.
Coconut oil does contains MCTs, but it is not a pure source and so is not as beneficial to health. It is a rich source of healthy fats, but coconut oil will not provide the key benefits of MCT oil such as enhanced ketone production and rapidly available energy.
You can learn more about this in the article below.
Benefits of MCT Oil
MCT oil is most commonly used as a nutritional supplement, popular with Low Carb and High Fat diets like Paleo and Keto.
Studies have consistently shown that the types of fats in MCT oil have a number of health benefits. Here are just a few:
Efficient energy source - MCTs are quickly absorbed in the liver, providing an efficient source of energy which can increase stamina and athletic performance
Enhances ketosis - MCTs are converted by the liver into ketones, helping the body to reach ketosis and maintain a ketogenic state
Promotes weight loss - Rather than being stored on the body, MCTs are rapidly used for energy, they have also been shown to help regulate hormones involved with appetite and satiety
Good for Heart Health - As well as supporting weight loss and fat loss, research has shown that consuming MCTs can help to regulate blood lipids and lower cholesterol - both of which are risk factors for heart disease
- Antimicrobial & Anti-Fungal Properties - Like coconut oil, MCT oil has been shown to be effective at fighting the growth of certain yeasts and bacteria - helping to support the immune system
The Different types of MCTs and why it matters
There are 4 types of MCTs: C6, C8, C10 and C12. They are classified by the number of carbon atoms they contain (6 to 12). The higher the number, the longer the fatty acid chain.
Shorter chain fatty acids are easier to absorb and utilise as a source of energy. However, C6 (Caproic Acid) is bitter to taste and has been found to cause digestive discomfort.
Whilst C12 (Lauric Acid) is technically an MCT, research has shown that its longer chain length means that it is not as easy to absorb.
Therefore, C8 and C10 are more preferable - providing MCTs which are easy to digest and are an efficient source of energy, with a lower likelihood of causing gastrointestinal issues.
What is the difference between C8 & C10 MCT Oil
C8 and C10 MCT oil differ simply based on which fatty acids they contain.
- C8 MCT Oil: contains Caprylic acid (which has 8 carbon atoms on its chain)
- C10 MCT Oil: contains Capric Acid (which has 10 carbon atoms on its chain).
Their different chain lengths gives each MCT specialised benefits.
🥥 C8: Caprylic Acid Benefits
As it has a shorter chain length, C8 is easier for the body to break down, absorb and use as fuel. So, it is arguably a more efficient source of energy compared to C10.
For that reason, if fast energy and enhanced athletic performance are on your radar - then you may choose C8 over C10. Having said that, we know that all MCTs (including C10) are far preferable to most long-chain fats in terms of efficient energy provision.
Studies have also shown that C8 has powerful antibacterial properties and can also help to reduce inflammation - particularly in the gut.
🥥 C10: Capric Acid Benefits
C10 has been shown to have some potent anti-fungal properties. Research has demonstrated that C10 can rapidly destroy yeast and fungi in the gut, more effectively than other MCTs.
The anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties of C10 also help to support the immune system. Interestingly, one study found that mothers supplementing their diet with C10 MCT oil passed on these benefits to their breastfeeding infants, who were found to have increased ability to fight off viruses and infections.
Which is Better: C8 or C10 MCT Oil?
Whilst they can be separated out and do have their own unique benefits, the main health benefits of each MCT are shared by both C8 and C10.
As the overall health benefits of MCT Oil come from both the C8 and C10 fatty acids, most MCT oils contain a combination of both. This is usually at a roughly 50/50 split, but can vary.
Hunter & Gather Organic 100% Coconut MCT Oil
Hunter & Gather has two different MCT oil products:
As a pure fat which enhances ketone production, Hunter & Gather MCT Oil is the perfect addition to your healthy lifestyle.
Simply add one tablespoon to shakes, salads, tea, coffee and dressings throughout the day for a boost of energy and healthy fats.
With a neutral taste and aroma, you can even enjoy Hunter & Gather MCT Oil straight off the spoon!
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.