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Last modified on November 8th, 2022
What’s the best MCT oil? Some of the answers to this question depend on what your goals are when using it. Below we break down everything you need to know about this popular nutritional supplement, our picks for the top brands, MCT oil benefits, and how to choose the right product for your needs.
The Best MCT Oils of 2021
Below, we name our picks for the best MCT oils for 2021 and a few things we like about each.
Best MCT Oil for Ketosis- Viva Naturals Organic MCT Oil
- Top-rated by users on Amazon
- Liquid form
- Designed for ketogenic weight management
- Also supports mental energy and focus
- Easy to add a tablespoon into your coffee in the morning
- Tasteless and odorless
- Free of additives, outside fillers, and flavors
- Extracted from organic coconuts
- Third-party tested for quality
We like the Viva Naturals Organic MCT Oil for keto because it’s easy to use and it’s a well-reviewed product. It can help promote mental clarity and focus when you’re following a keto or low-carb diet. It mixes easily in pretty much anything as well. This product does contain a combination of C8 and C10 fatty acids, which we go into more detail about below.
According to reviews, people feel like adding this MCT oil to their keto routine helps them feel their best. They use it for both Bulletproof Coffee and Bulletproof Tea. A lot of users say they also felt a real, noticeable improvement in their energy levels.
Additionally, some users say this helped them reduce their bad cholesterol levels, which can be helpful when you’re following a keto diet.
- Only contains C8 MCT oil
- The Bulletproof brand is made specifically for Bulletproof Coffee recipes
- Sugar-free energy booster
- Metabolizes quickly into ketone energy
- Both keto and paleo-friendly
- According to the company, Brain Octane produces 4x the ketone energy of regular coconut oil
Bulletproof’s Brain Octane Oil is really the gold standard as far as MCT oil. It’s made only from C8 MCT oil, and that means that it can more efficiently and quickly pass the blood-brain barrier, giving you a mental boost.
A lot of people like Brain Octane Oil because they feel that it gives them mental clarity and clears brain fog.
Brain Octane Oil may also help support a strong immune system and healthy digestion because it promotes good gut bacteria. Gut bacteria are also linked to mood and mental health which could be a reason why some people feel taking Brain Octane Oil helps improve symptoms of anxiety and depression and just generally gives them a lift.
- Affordable one-pound bag
- Organic MCT C8 MCT powder
- Comes from organic coconut
- Easy to measure and use
- Powders absorb quickly, and they tend to be easier on the stomach if you experience digestive symptoms from MCT oil
We like this pick for the best MCT oil powder for a few reasons. First, Micro Ingredients is one of our favorite brands in general. We think they have generally high-quality products. We also like the idea of using this powder version of MCT oil if you deal with stomach upset from other types of oils because powder can reduce those symptoms.
Since you aren’t dealing with potential drips, it’s a less messy product, and you might even be able to travel easily with it in a sealed container.
The Micro Ingredients MCT powder is top-rated by users, and it works well not only in smoothies but also as a coffee creamer. Users say that it helps them fast for much longer than they can ordinarily, and it mixes easily without lumps.
Users also say it gives them sustained energy, and they don’t feel fatigued or like they crash later.
Best MCT Oil Creamer- Natural Force Creamy Caramel MCT Oil
- Non-dairy, keto MCT with creamy caramel flavor and texture
- No blending—mixes instantly
- Comes in a glass bottle with recycled protective packaging
- No sugar and less than one gram of total carbs
- Mixes into hot and cold beverages instantly
- 100% coconut MCTs
We love the creamy texture of Natural Force Creamery Caramel MCT oil, paired with the flavor. We featured caramel flavor, but there are other sugar-free flavors available as well, including vanilla, and there’s a pure C8 unflavored version.
This product helps you feel energized and productive and makes it incredibly simple to have a healthier cup of coffee.
The Creamy Caramel MCT oil contains both C8 and C10 MCTs. It’s made with natural, plant-based ingredients so you can boost your ketones.
This MCT oil creamer is whipped, so it’s lighter and easier to digest, in addition to instantly mixing in anything, whether it’s hot or cold.
Best MCT Oil for Weight Loss- Bean Envy MCT Oil Powder + Collagen
- Grass-fed collagen protein source combined with MCT oil in powder form
- Includes prebiotic acacia
- Paleo and keto-friendly
- Dairy-free and sugar-free
- Contains C8 and C10 MCTs
- Promotes gut health
We picked this Bean Envy product as our favorite MCT oil for weight loss because it contains not just the MCT oil powder but collagen. Collagen is great for weight loss because it can help you feel fuller for longer, and it can help you build lean muscle mass.
Then, to top it off and make it an even better product, it contains the prebiotic acacia to help promote gut health and reduce symptoms like bloating.
There are so many possible benefits of this MCT oil for weight loss including better nutrient absorption thanks to acacia and the fact that it’s a source of beneficial bacteria and amino acids. It’s an all-around great product that gives you a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak.
- Orgain is a great brand overall
- Non-GMO, soy, dairy and glut-free
- Large 32-ounce bottle
- The only ingredient is 100% organic coconut MCTs
- Odorless and flavorless
Our pick for the best organic MCT oil is the Orgain product. We generally like Orgain and they have a good reputation in the world of natural health and nutrition. This is a straightforward organic MCT oil that includes capric and caprylic acid. It may help with weight loss, energy and focus, particularly when combined with a low-carb diet.
- The power of Brain Octane Oil in convenient single-serve packets
- Each packet includes 14 grams of MCTs
- Only contains C8 MCT oil for a rapid energy boost
- C8 oil may convert more effectively into ketone energy
- Brain Octane Oil can produce up to 4x the ketone energy of other coconut oil
The Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil product is one of our favorite MCT oils overall. All of the benefits of this MCT oil are put into convenient, portable packets with this option. You can take them with you anywhere you go, including when you’re traveling.
The Brain Octane Oil is rapidly absorbed, providing an instant surge of energy and mental clarity. This particular MCT oil is also good for digestion.
We should note, however, that if you’re just starting with MCT oil, don’t assume that you should use the entire packet. In fact, you more than likely shouldn’t. You should start gradually with no more than a teaspoon of Brain Octane Oil when you start out using it.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a supplement made from a specific type of fat known as medium-chain triglycerides. MCT molecules are smaller than those found in most fats, so they can be digested and absorbed into your bloodstream faster.
MCT oil comes from either coconut or palm kernel oil, and when we were selecting the best MCT oil, our preference was for coconut-derived oils.
There are a few different types of specific medium-chain fatty acids, which are:
- C6: This is also known as caproic or hexanoic acid
- C8: This is sometimes the preferable MCT oil, and it’s the only one in Brain Octane Oil. It’s also known as caprylic or octanoic acid.
- C10: This is called capric or decanoic acid.
- C12: This MCT can also be known as lauric or dodecanoic acid.
The MCTs you most commonly see in supplemental forms are C8 and C10. Lauric acid is very rarely if ever in these products because there aren’t any major health benefits associated with this type that we know of right now.
MCTs have a short chain length, and that allows them to be broken down and absorbed quickly by your body. They go right to your liver, and then your body can use them as an energy source or turn them into ketones. Ketones are what your body produces when your liver is breaking down significant amounts of fat. Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier, fueling the brain as an alternative source. Otherwise, the brain uses glucose for fuel.
Your body only produces ketones when it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates. This is the point of the keto diet—to put you into the metabolic state of ketosis. You don’t consume many carbs, and then your body is forced to create ketones and use those as energy instead of glucose, which it would do if you were consuming carbs.
The calories in MCTs are turned into energy so quickly and then used by your body so that they’re not very likely to be stored as fat, which is one reason some believe MCT oil can help with weight loss.
What Are the Benefits of MCT Oil?
MCT is one of the most popular supplements right now, and there’s some research to back up the claims of benefits.
Probably one of the most common reasons people are looking for the best MCT oil is to help with weight loss.
There are multiple ways it can aid in weight loss.
First, MCT might increase two hormones that promote feelings of fullness—leptin and peptide YY.
There was a study that found two tablespoons of MCT during breakfast led to people eating less at lunch compared to people who used coconut oil. Other studies, while older, have also indicated MCT oil might reduce waist circumference and body weight, and it may play a role in preventing obesity.
If you follow a ketogenic, low-carb, high-fat diet, you’re much more likely to see these benefits if you also add MCT to your routine. MCT oil may help you get into ketosis faster and stay there.
MCT oil has also been shown to help promote healthy gut bacteria, which can help with weight loss.
Along with weight loss, one of the other most common reasons people look for the best MCT oil is to boost their energy.
Because of their short-chain structure, MCTs can travel rapidly from your gut to your liver. They don’t need bile to be broken down.
Then, when MCTs reach your liver, they can be immediately used for energy.
If you’re following a keto diet, MCTs are also converted to ketones in your liver. Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier, giving your brain a source of clean energy.
Mood and Brain Health
MCTs are thought to really nourish your brain in a unique way. For example, research found that taking MCT oil can improve your brain injury by as much as 9%.
Especially when you take MCTs with a high-fat, low-carb diet, they can delay brain aging and help repair brain cells.
MCT oil also helps promote good bacteria in your gut, and that then helps your brain produce two neurotransmitters responsible for giving you a mood boost—serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters, interestingly, are created primarily in your gut.
Researchers right now are even looking at the use of MCT oil as a dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment. Some experts view these brain diseases as similar to diabetes in that brain cells lose their ability to absorb glucose. When that happens, they don’t have an energy source, so they die. PET scans have shown that parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s can take up ketones as a fuel source.
We’ve also seen that ketogenic diets have benefits for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Antimicrobial and Antifungal Effects
MCTs have been shown to reduce the growth of various funguses and bacteria. For example, in one study, coconut oil, which contains MCTs, reduced the growth of the bacteria C. diff.
MCTs have been shown to reduce the growth of a wide variety of different infectious fungus in hospitals by as much as 50%.
There are some indicators MCT could reduce the risk factors linked to heart disease, including inflammation and blood pressure. MCT may also reduce cholesterol levels, and in particular so-called bad cholesterol or LDL.
MCT may reduce C-reactive protein, which is an inflammatory marker thought to increase heart disease risk.
When you take MCT oil, it might help with fat burning and storage, which can, in turn, help you keep your diabetes better controlled.
For example, there was a study of 40 older people with diabetes. In that study, the people who took MCT oil daily had reductions in insulin resistance, waist circumference, and body weight.
In a separate study, 10 people with diabetes needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when they consumed MCTs.
Do MCTs Have Side Effects?
You should talk to your doctor before taking MCTs, particularly if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Overall, based on what we currently know, there aren’t any major or common side effects associated with their use, but that doesn’t mean side effects can’t occur.
For most people, if they experience any side effects of MCTs, they’re related to their GI system. For example, when people first start using MCTs, they may have nausea or diarrhea.
That usually goes away as your body gets used to this type of fat.
You can also avoid the risk of GI side effects by starting slow with MCTs. For example, take half a teaspoon at first and gradually work your way up.
It’s also possible that large amounts of MCTs could lead to a buildup of fat in your liver. However, none of the best MCT oils recommended above recommend doses that are anywhere close to what might trigger that.
The upper safe intake level for MCT oil is anywhere from 4 to 7 tablespoons a day.
MCT Oil vs. Powder
When it comes to choosing the best MCT oil, we featured both actual oils and powders.
You may be wondering what the differences are. Both should provide you with the same general health benefits, as long as you choose a reputable brand and product.
However, an MCT powder may have fewer side effects than an oil.
When you take an MCT powder, you may be more likely to have symptoms of digestive distress like diarrhea and nausea. A lot of people find MCT powders are more easily digested.
Oils can be a bit messy, so some people feel powders are easier to use and also to travel with.
You may also prefer the texture of one over the other. For example, MCT oil has, as you might think an oily consistency. You might prefer a powder that will blend and mix more easily into drinks and other items.
Of course, you can’t use a powder as a salad dressing or as a topper for your food in the same way you can an oil.
Most of the research that’s currently available on MCT supplements is focused on the benefits of oils, so we generally know less about powder, but there’s no reason to think powder is any less effective in terms of health advantages.
How Are MCT Oils Different from Coconut Oil?
You may be wondering how the best MCT oil compares to coconut oil.
MCT oil has 100% MCTs, which are medium-chain triglycerides. It’s a concentrated source of MCTs. Coconut oil contains MCTs, but it’s not entirely an MCT. In fact, coconut oil also has long-chain triglycerides.
Lauric acid is one of the primary components of coconut oil, and it’s slowly absorbed and digested, so it’s not as preferable as far as overall health benefits as MCTs.
MCT has advantages over coconut oil, in particular for people who follow a keto diet. MCT is better for helping your body produce ketones and stay in ketosis. Studies have also shown MCT oil is better for boosting your metabolism and helping you feel full for longer; therefore, it may be a better weight loss aid than coconut oil.
What Is C8 MCT Oil?
In our ranking of the best MCT oils, a couple of the products we selected are marketed as only having C8, and in particular, this is true of Brain Octane Oil.
C8 MCT oil is 100% caprylic acid. Caprylic acid is the most metabolically active medium-chain fatty acid, so some people believe it’s preferable to other types.
C8 has been shown to help boost ketone production and increase energy, and it may also have cancer-fighting properties.
C6 is caproic acid, which can also boost blood ketone production.
C10 is capric acid, which is similar to C10 in that it boosts ketones and can aid in weight loss, but it can take longer for the body to absorb and process.
C12 is lauric acid, and it’s not the best MCT oil for ketone production or weight loss, so most supplements don’t have it.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about MCT oil.
What MCT Oil Is Best?
We ranked our picks for the best MCT oil above.
- Viva Naturals Organic MCT Oil
- Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
- MicroIngredietns MCT Oil Powder
- Natural Force Creamy Caramel MCT Oil
- Bean Envy MCT Oil Powder with Collagen
- Orgain Organic MCT Oil
- Brain Octane Oil Single Serve Packets
We based our selections on customer reviews, personal experience with the products, purity of ingredients, and how convenient and easy to use each might be.
What Is the Best MCT Oil For Keto?
Our pick for the best MCT oil for Keto is Vival Naturals Organic MCT oil. It’s odorless and tasteless, making it easy to add to a lot of different foods when you’re following a keto diet.
We also like Brain Octane Oil from Bulletproof and consider it among the best MCT oil for keto. We like that it’s only C8 MCT oil, which can be used by your body to rapidly produce ketones. It’s also a key ingredient in Bulletproof Coffee, which many people like to have in the morning when they’re following a ketogenic diet.
What is the Best MCT Oil for Weight Loss?
Our favorite MCT oil for weight loss is Bean Envy’s MCT Oil Powder with Collagen. It’s the best MCT oil for weight loss, in our opinion, for a few reasons.
First, it contains collagen which also helps with weight loss. It helps you feel fuller for longer.
This MCT oil also has acacia fiber which can reduce bloating.
What is the Best Time to Take MCT Oil?
You can take MCT oil whenever it’s best for you, but we like to take it in the morning, with coffee. It’s easy to blend it into your coffee, and many people find that MCT oil gives them a rush of energy and also helps with productivity and focus, which makes it a good starter for your day.
MCT oil is a great product if you’re following a keto diet if you want to add more healthy fats to what you eat, or if you just want to improve your health. Our picks for the best MCT oil above take into consideration the many health benefits of using this product and also other factors like customer reviews. Remember to speak to a health care professional before you take any supplement or start a new health routine.