MCT Oil: Benefits, Uses, And History

MCT Oil: Benefits, Uses, and History

Interested in boosting your well-being naturally? MCT oil is a well-loved supplement that has captured the attention of health enthusiasts globally. With a rich historical backdrop, MCT oil opens a gateway to a plethora of benefits and applications. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at MCT oil, what it offers, and how it might fit into your daily routine.

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The Definition: Medium-chain triglycerides, more commonly known as MCT oil, is a concentrated form of saturated fatty acids derived from natural sources such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products, and butter.1

The Process: The journey to creating MCT oil began in the 1950s when researchers at Drew Chemical, led by Babayan, discovered a method to separate medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil during its production. This process, known as fractionation, enabled the extraction of these fats, leading to the birth of MCT oil.

How To Take: MCT oil is a versatile supplement and can be incorporated into your diet in several ways. It can be added to smoothies, coffee, and even salad dressings for easy intake. 

History: MCT oil's history dates back to the mid-20th century when its production began as a byproduct of coconut oil extraction. Over time, the unique properties and benefits of MCT oil were recognized, leading to its widespread use, not only as a dietary supplement but also in various other applications.2


What is MCT Oil?

The Background: MCT Oil

Today, MCT oil, or medium-chain triglycerides, is recognized globally for its potential health benefits. It is a popular supplement available in various forms such as liquid oil, capsules, and even incorporated in other products. It can easily be found online, in health food stores, and especially in FOCL's collection of plant-based products (for which fractionated coconut oil is an extremely common ingredient in the CBD industry).

The value of MCT oil lies in its potential to support weight loss, provide a quick energy source, and possibly improve cognitive function. It is believed to work by quickly being absorbed into the bloodstream and converted into energy.

The Making

The production process of MCT oil varies based on the source of the medium-chain triglycerides, which include coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products. Here's a simplified overview of the process:

  • Source Identification: MCT oil can be extracted from different sources including coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter. These sources are rich in MCTs and are carefully selected for the production of the oil.
  • Extraction: The MCTs are extracted from the identified sources. In the case of coconut oil and palm kernel oil, a process called fractionation is used to separate the MCTs from the rest of the oil.
  • Concentration: The extracted MCTs are then concentrated into what we now know as MCT oil. It can be either pure MCT oil or a mix of MCT and LCT, those long-chain triglycerides.
  • Refining: The MCT oil is then refined to ensure its purity and quality.
  • Quality Testing: The final product undergoes laboratory testing to ensure it meets quality standards and is safe for consumption.

Benefits of MCT Oil

While the spectrum of research on MCT oil still seeks expansion, the initial results have sparked our interest by indicating a bounty of wellness benefits. Here's a brief look at some of the highlights:

  • Lesser Calorie Content: MCT oil takes a slight edge over long-chain triglycerides by being 10% leaner in calorie content, which could lead to a potential reduction in overall calorie consumption.3
  • Support for Weight Loss: MCT oil has stepped into the spotlight as a potential aid in weight management. It's suggested to favor weight loss and potentially trim waist size. However, science is still connecting the dots in this area.4
  • Swift Energy Provider: MCT oil has earned accolades for being a swift source of energy. Its ability to be quickly absorbed and metabolized into energy sets it apart.5
  • Cognitive Enhancement: The conversation about MCT oil taking a step into cognitive support is ongoing. It has the potential to elevate cognitive function, but the verdict still requires further substantial evidence.


Is it safe to use MCT oil daily? 

Yes, it is safe to use MCT oil daily. MCT oil is a natural supplement and is generally recognized as safe by the FDA. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement (even MCT oil combined with CBD extract), especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications that might interact with said supplements.

What is the best way to use MCT oil? 

The best way to use MCT oil depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may prefer to take MCT oil in capsule form, while others may prefer to add it to food and beverages. It is important to start with a small dose and gradually increase the amount until you find the right amount for you.

Is olive oil an MCT? 

No, olive oil is not an MCT. Olive oil is a type of monounsaturated fat, while MCTs are a type of saturated fat. MCTs are found in foods such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products.

Is MCT oil good for kidneys? 

Studies have shown that MCT oil can help reduce inflammation and improve kidney function. 


  1. (n.d.). MCT Oil: Health Benefits and Common Uses. WebMD. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from
  2. Watanabe, S., & Tsujino, S. (2022). Applications of Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Foods. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9.
  3. Maher, T., & Clegg, M. E. (2020). A systematic review and meta-analysis of medium-chain triglycerides effects on acute satiety and food intake. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 1–13.
  4. St-Onge, M.-P., Ross, R., Parsons, W. D., & Jones, P. J. H. (2003). Medium-Chain Triglycerides Increase Energy Expenditure and Decrease Adiposity in Overweight Men. Obesity Research, 11(3), 395–402.