How Medium Chain Triglycerides Work
The question now is, how could a single dose of MCTs (40 ml or 2.7 tablespoons) cause an almost immediate improvement in cognitive performance in those suffering from cognitive impairments as serious as Alzheimer’s disease? The explanation-both in the unique metabolic needs of the brain and in the configuration of MCTs themselves. Glucose is the primary fuel source for the energy-hungry brain, and when insulin resistance and suboptimal metabolism (hypometabolism) develops in the brain, both the brain’s structure and function are compromised. An almost immediate improvement in cognitive function is provided by the ketone bodies, which provide a much needed alternative fuel source to glucose that can recharge the metabolic processes within the brain.
MCTs are not like most fats we consume. Due to their smaller size they do not form micelles and are not stored in adipose tissue. MCTs have relatively short chain lengths of 5 to 12 carbons, whereas up to 97% of the dietary fats we ingest are made up of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which have been 14 and 18 carbons. This makes the MCTs easier to absorb and utilize. They are preferentially oxidized by the liver, and when provided in large enough quantities, they give rise to ketone bodies.
The best way to take the MCTs?-Well, we as advocates of whole food nutrition, can say with certainty that, coconut oil is our preferred source of these triglycerides, containing approximately 2/3rds MCTs by volume.
Be sure to not treat coconut oil or MCTs as some new nutraceutical “magic bullet”, try incorporating coconut oil into your diet in a way that displaces less healthy fats. For example, replace that rancid, pro-inflammatory ‘vegetable oil’ you are using to fry an egg or bake with, with sublimely saturated, rancidity-resistant coconut oil.
Or, you can enjoy a delicious curry with coconut milk as a base. 25% of coconut milk is fat, and about 66% of that fat is MCT, so you are still getting a healthy dose. It is always better to eat smaller amounts of truly therapeutic foods, enjoyed in the context of sharing, preparing and enjoying good food, so that you will ideally never have to use the heroic “food as medicine” approach after a serious disease has had the opportunity to set in.
Think: use food so that medicine never becomes necessary.
Sources: The Mind Unleashed , GreenMedInfo