Medium Chain Triglycerides The F1 of Fat Digestion

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) digest rapidly. By the time other fats can even begin to, MCTs are almost, if not already, giving you energy to live life.

If Formula One or F1 cars boast some of the fastest cars in the world, MCTs are the speed demons of fat digestion.

Here’s a brief discussion to appreciate the superior health-impacts of MCTs compared to others.

There’s probably a 95-100 percent chance that all the fats and oils you consume, whether they are derived from plants or animals, are composed entirely of Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT). This is especially true if you live in America.

Below is a list of fats/oils made of 100 percent LCTs.

From Plants From Animals
Soybean oil

Corn oil

Olive oil

Safflower oil

Peanut oil

Canola oil

Sunflower oil



Chicken fat

As you’ll soon see, Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) and Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT) have distinctive health properties. They digest and metabolize very differently.

LCTs are Hard

LCTs are hard to digest. They require digestive enzymes and bile, and almost all of their digestion happens in your intestine.

In your intestine, the links keeping the fatty acids together are broken (a triglyceride is three fatty acids held together by one glycerol molecule). The individual fatty acids are then absorbed into your intestinal wall where they are bundled into lipoproteins.

These bundles of fat and protein are then carried into your bloodstream to circulate your entire body. During circulation, tiny particles of fat are unleashed and collects in your fat cells (belly fat, etc.) and artery walls.

MCTs are digested and metabolized differently from LCTs.

MCTs are Easy

In comparison, MCTs are super easy to digest. They don’t need enzymes and bile to break up into separate fatty acids. By the time they exit your stomach, Medium Chain Triglycerides are already broken down into single fatty acids called Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA).

Unlike LCTs, MCTs bypass the entire lipoprotein stage. That’s less work for your body, much less! Less work for your body means more energy available for other activities. It’s the reason why many report an increase in energy levels after shifting to MCT-rich coconut oil.

MCFAs are immediately sent to your liver where they are used to produce energy, not body fat and not arterial plaque. Since MCTs readily break down into MCFAs, eating coconut oil can only help you lose excess weight.

Strong Antimicrobial

Triglycerides do not show any antimicrobic effects. But free fatty acids do. Freed from each other early in the digestive process, MCFAs possess incredible antimicrobial properties capable of killing some of the deadliest pathogens known to man. You won’t see this awesome benefit of coconut oil in most all other fats.

The three MCFAs in coconut oil are lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. All of them exhibit potent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic and antiprotozoal action, including their respective monoglycerides (one fatty acid attached to one glycerol).

Ultimate Source

There are relatively few natural sources of MCTs. Mothers milk is one of them. But not even nature’s perfect food can match the abundance of these super nutrients found in coconut oil. Breast milk MCT-composition, by the way, bears striking similarities to that of coconut oil.

The most generous source, by far, of these easy-to-digest fat molecules is organic coconut oil. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of its fatty acid composition are Medium Chain Triglycerides. Some brands are even approaching the 75 percent mark, depending on the production process used.

Almost all fats/oils are devoid of this quick-absorbing, health-promoting nutrient. Good thing God created MCT-packed coconut oil, “The Ferrari of Fats.”


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Kiyasu, G. Y., et al. The portal transport of absorbed fatty acids. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1952;199:415.

Baba, N. Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with a diet containing medium chain triglycerides. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1982;35:678.

Fushiki, T. and Matsumoto, K. Swimming endurance capacity of mice is increased by chronic consumption of medium-chain triglycerides. Journal of Nutrition 1995;125:531.

Greenberger, N. J. and Skillman, T. G. Medium-chain triglycerides:physiologic considerations and clinical implications. New England Journal of Medicine 1969;280:1045.

Applegate, L. Nutrition. Runner’s World 1996;31:26.

Coconut Oil › Medium Chain Triglycerides