MCT oil is one of the hottest nutritional products on the market right now.
Coconut oil – the primary source of MCT oil – has firmly established its place as one of the most popular super foods on the planet. You will find coconut oil in a lot of health food products now, such as smoothies, sports supplements, meal replacement shakes, and coffee infusions.
You will find a lot of content written about coconut oil and MCT oils on the internet; blogs, supplement manufacturer websites, and health resources are all churning out reams of content on medium chain triglycerides and their many health benefits.
Because there is so much information out there on MCTs that we don’t need to explain what MCT oil is or what it does.
Instead, we’re going to try to answer a different question: what is the best kind of MCT oil to use?
Is C8 the best MCT?
Or should you use a blend of MCT oils like you get from coconut oil?
What are the benefits of the different medium chain triglycerides?
Let’s jump in and find out!
The 4 Different MCT Oils
There are 4 different medium chain triglycerides:
- C6 – Caproic acid (also known as hexanoic acid)
- C8 – Caprylic acid (also known as octanoic acid)
- C10 – Capric acid (also known as decanoic acid)
- C12 – Lauric acid (also known as dodecanoic acid)
These are the medium chain triglycerides, more commonly known as MCTs.
Coconut oil contains all 4 of these MCTs, plus some other, longer chain triglycerides (C14 and C16).
Coconut oil also contains very little C6 and C8 MCTs; it is most abundant in C12, lauric acid.
While they are all very similar, these MCTs do have slightly different properties.
C8 and C10 are widely thought to be the most beneficial for health and performance. In most high-spec MCT oil supplements, C12 has been largely removed from the source coconut oil, leaving an oil rich in C6, C8, and C10.
But some manufacturers go further.
According to certain manufacturers, C8 is the single best MCT for health and performance. The benefits of C8 MCT, caprylic acid, supposedly outweigh all the other MCTs put together. So, it is not uncommon to find some of the best MCT oils on the market right now that have removed C6, C10 and C12 altogether, leaving nothing but pure C8 caprylic acid.
Is this a wise decision?
Is C8 the best MCT oil?
What is the best MCT oil composition?
In our opinion, the best way to benefit from MCT oil is to consume it in a way that is as close as possible to the form found in nature.
Now, that does not necessarily mean consuming coconut oil. That is inefficient and has you consuming far more saturated fat than you should be for optimal heart health.
But it also doesn’t mean consuming C8 MCT alone.
To maximize the benefits of MCT oil usage, you should be taking a combination of C8 and C10 MCT oil. These are the two most beneficial and least harmful of the MCT oils. You do not have any of the least effective C6 or the stomach-churning C12 causing issues, but you do have a product that is very similar to coconut oil as it exists in nature.
C8 is not the best MCT oil.
A combination of C8 and C10 is ideal for optimal heath and cognitive performance.