9 Reasons to Consider MCT oil for You and Your Dog.
Already a popular supplement, MCT oil is used in human nutrition for many reasons. Because of this, dog owners often ask me about MCT oil for dogs. As supplements go, it has some controversy as it is almost all saturated fat. However, the benefits of MCT oil tend to outweigh any risks. First let’s get to know what MCT oil is and where it comes from. You will see MCT oil is not only safe for dogs but there are many reasons to consider MCT oil for you and your dog.
What Is MCT Coconut Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, which refers to the length of the chains of fats. Some fats are shorter chain fats and others are longer chain fats. Longer chain fats are what we are most familiar with (canola oil, olive oil, and fish oil). These fats require a host of pancreatic enzymes to break them down properly. MCT oil is different.
Each MCT(medium chain triglyceride) is made up of 6 to 12 carbon atoms. It is important to receive MCTs in your diet as your body utilizes them differently to long-chain fatty acids. After leaving your gut, MCTs head to the liver, where your body can use them for energy or turn them into ketones. In other words, your body uses the calories from MCTs immediately, instead of storing them as fat. It is useful for your body to have ketones, as the brain can transform them into energy later, rather than needing to rely on glucose or sugar. MCT oil requires almost no work on the part of the pancreas. This is beneficial for people or pets with pancreatic issues.
Finally, MCT supplements usually use coconut as the source for their oil. This is because more than 50 percent of all the fat in the fruit comes from MCTs. Other sources of MCTs include dairy products and palm kernels, but they have a much lower percentage of MCTs than coconuts.
Benefits of MCT oil
1. Quick Energy for the mind and body
Because of shorter structure of MCT’s they are rapidly absorbed by the body with very little work by the gallbladder, liver or pancreas. They convert quickly to energy or into substances called ketones which are able to cross into the brain and supply it with valuable fuel. Much less of MCT’s are stored as fats and in fact have shown in some studies to increase calorie burn by as much as 5%.
2. Improved Brain and Memory
We mentioned above that the brain can use MCTs for energy. This can actually lead to better brain function and improved memory. For instance, research suggests that people with Alzheimer’s may see increased thinking ability when they take MCT oil. This is due to their brains’ capability to utilize ketones from the oil more effectively than it could use glucose.
3. Nutrient Absorption
We can eat all the good foods we want but without proper absorption of nutrients, we aren’t getting all that we could be. Fat soluble vitamins like A, E, D, K as well as minerals like magnesium and calcium depend on saturated healthy fats like MCT’s to help transport them to their final destinations. Organic MCT coconut oil was carefully selected in our Pet CBD for proper delivery of valuable cannabinoids and terpenes to your pet.
4. Seizure Reduction
Seizures in humans and dogs are challenging to manage and in some cases they are unmanageable even with medications. Often the medications taken to reduce seizure frequency lower the overall quality of life in a drastic way. So any dietary help on top of that would be highly advantageous. Fortunately MCT coconut oil is able to help in this regard too. In a small human study it was found that adding MCT oil to the diet reduced seizures as much as 42%. In another study on dogs, adding MCT oil to the diets of dogs already on seizure medication reduced seizures up to 48% over a 90 day span. This is a fantastic reason to consider MCT oil for dogs with seizures.
5. Insect Repellant
Until recently, the most effective insect repellents all contained the chemical DEET. The chemical is popular because it can repel all kinds of biting bugs and prevent the spread of diseases carried by these insects. However, DEET can lead to some serious side effects for your health. For instance, it can be toxic to your central nervous system, can cause skin reactions, and is even linked to cancer. The chemical is particularly dangerous to use on your whole body on a regular basis. The difficulty comes when you live in a place where you are often bothered by insects and have no option but to use a repellant.
The good news is that MCT coconut oil is more effective at keeping insects at bay than DEET. For instance, one study found it to be 90 percent effective at repelling mosquitoes. It is also great for keeping dogs free from fleas and ticks. Unlike most treatments, it is non-toxic, meaning there is no problem if the dog licks the oil. Antimicrobial and Antifungal MCT oil as mentioned above is comprised of medium chain fatty acids. The most common of these are capric, caprylic, and lauric acids. Caprylic acid has the most anti-fungal/anti-bacterial properties and also has the mildest taste of the MCT’s. We selected an organic MCT oil high in caprylic acids for use in all our CBD oils for dogs as well as our Topical Healing Formula. Because of the antimicrobial properties in our MCT oil, it helps pets with pesky candida infections and helps to clean the gut of unwanted microbes.
6. Control Blood Sugar Levels
By reducing blood sugar levels, MCT coconut oil may be able to help patients manage diabetes. There is evidence that the oil can even lower your risk of diabetes, such as by preventing insulin resistance. We use MCT oil and ceylon cinnamon together in our “Underbites” CBD dog treats for this very reason.
7. Improve Cholesterol
Saying MCT oil lowers cholesterol isn’t quite accurate. Cholesterol isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it is necessary for vitamin D synthesis and hormone regulation. Recently studies have shown that a diet high in saturated fats from MCT’s increases good HDL cholesterol levels while lowering overall lipid levels. The smaller more dangerous LDL cholesterol molecules were also affected and overall increased in size which is a good thing since smaller and denser LDL molecules triple your risk for heart disease.
8. As an Antimicrobial / Antibacterial / Antiviral
There are 3 different possible fatty acids that comprise MCT’s. They are caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. All of these fatty acids offer different benefits but most they all offer some degree of protection against bacteria, fungi and even virus’. Caprylic acid has been shown in studies to be a strong antibacterial and promote better gut health. Capric acid is a strong antifungal and immune system booster. Lauric acid has shown the strongest antibacterial properties of the 3 and also offers important antiviral properties. Often a good organic MCT oil will contain a variation of all three of these fatty acids which covers all bases.
9. Weight Loss
There are several reasons why MCT coconut oil can help speed up weight loss. (It can be particularly effective at getting rid of fat around the waist.)
First is that the oil leads the body to release the hormones peptide YY and leptin, which suppresses appetite and make you feel full. In fact, MCT oil has been found to be more effective at this than pure coconut oil. You’ve already seen that the body burns calories from MCTs straight away. Another benefit is the fact that MCTs have 10 percent fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) — the types of triglycerides present in olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Yet another reason is that MCTs can help you maintain the correct balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. This is a great way to promote healthy weight loss. Bear in mind that losing weight with MCT coconut oil is particularly effective when you’re on a ketogenic diet. This involves eating few carbohydrates but plenty of fats. By also taking MCT oil, you’ll keep your body in a fat-burning state.
As you can see, MCT oil is safe to use and there are many health related reasons to consider using MCT for you and your dog. It is easy to see why we chose an organic MCT oil to carry our CBD rich hemp extracts. We use it in our CBD oils, Topical Healing Formula and even in our CBD infused dog treats.
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What would be the dose for a 20 lb dog?
About 1 teaspoon a day for general nutrition needs.