Just wondering if there is a "cap" on how much mct's one can/should consume per day. I've seen quite a few sources (will link if I re-find them) talking about using 3-3 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil per day. Then I've heard 3 servings of MCT's; would that be coconut oil or MCT oil? I believe I also heard Dr. Newport saying her husband takes in 6 or 8 servings of MCT's a day for his (relatively reversed) Alzheimer's. Is there a point of diminishing returns?
I'm asking this because I've been thinking about building up to a "mega dose" of MCT's to see if it aids/cures my visual migraines and other random problems. Also I know it can be very healthful due to it being anti-fungal, increasing HDL, etc.
Thanks for any information on this.
asked byBigPapaChakra (257)
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on January 06, 2013
at 10:41 PM
So far as I know, nobody has done a study that would answer your question. Common sense tells us that there must be a maximal rate at which the liver can convert medium chain triglyceride (MCT) into ketone bodies, and presumably, if you swallowed MCT at a faster rate, the excess would not raise ketonemia, but so far as I know, nobody has attempted to measure that rate.
In fact, so far as I know, there are only two studies in the whole scientific literature where anybody tried to measure how much blood ketone bodies go up when humans eat MCT, and both studies measured the effect of a single dose.
You could answer the question yourself by buying a blood ketone meter (I recommend the Precision Xtra) and measuring your levels while you vary your intake of MCT.
Most people who attempt to eat a lot of MCT find that past a certain point, it makes them nauseous and/or gives them diarrhea, so for practical purposes, nausea and/or diarrhea will be a cap. Who knows, it may even be the case that nausea is an indicator that the liver's capacity to convert MCT has been exhausted.
You should be aware that the highest level of ketosis you can achieve by swallowing MCT is very low compared to what you can achieve with a diet that restricts carbs and protein. I'm not saying this to discourage you. I think you're doing a smart thing by trying MCT before you resort to a ketogenic diet.
I'm just suggesting that you keep in mind that if MCT doesn't work, you might want to move on to a second experiment in which you restrict carbs and protein to achieve higher ketosis. That's what I did for my migraines. In my case MCT didn't work but diet did.
It's easy to get pure MCT. You can buy it on Amazon, from nutraceutical stores, etc.
The main manufacturer is the Stepan Company. They call the product Neobee 1053. It's 99% MCT (55% C:8 and 44% C:10).
Stepan doesn't sell to consumers. They sell to other companies who put their labels on the product.
on January 06, 2013
at 10:34 PM
i easily eat about 4-5 T of coconut oil a day. i use it to cook my meats and veggies in as well as to eat with a spoon. i don't count calories or anything and am looking to gain 20 lbs, but i probably wouldn't eat that much if i was trying to maintain weight.
on January 06, 2013
at 10:32 PM
I have 3 tbsp per day MCT oil and have been doing so for about 8 months or so. No problems at that level. My brain feels like its 18 again (it's 50).
on January 06, 2013
at 10:38 PM
Coconut oil and MCTs are not interchangeable terms as coconut oil is not 100% MCTs. According to Wikipedia coconut oil is approximately 66% MCTs. This of course means that if you are intent on 3-3.5 tbsp of MCT that you will have to consume approximately 5-5.8 tbsp of coconut oil. Whether this is what those authors meant for you to do, I'm sorry I don't specifically know.
As for too much? I'm not sure if there is a too much. Of course there is a too much of everything although I think you would hit a massive nausea and weight gain wall before anything else if you decided to chug it by the quart.
on August 25, 2013
at 03:29 PM
Rob, thanks for this clarification above: "The body has two mechanisms which raise ketosis, and they are independent. One mechanism is that if you swallow MCT, the liver is pretty much obliged to turn it into ketone bodies and dump them into your blood. This happens independently of anything else that's going on. This mechanism has a relatively weak effect (low level of ketosis). The other mechanism is that when you're not eating enough glucogenic substrate (carbs and certain amino acids) for the body to produce enough glucose, the liver starts manufacturing ketone bodies instead of glucose. This effect is potentially gigantic."
Question: Say you're taking in MCT oil and carbs in the same meal. Will body tissues consume the ketones before the carbs, potentially leaving unused carbs in the bloodstream (or vice versa), or will the tissues manage to use all of both. I suppose this is an argument for low-carbing while adding MCT/coconut oil for ketones, to be sure all the ketones are used?
Question: I've been carbing usually 100 gm or less a day and adding 1 tsp MCT oil morning and evening, while occasionally using coconut oil to cook with. Oh, and 1/4 tsp coconut oil in each of two cups coffee. It sounds from your quite like 1 tsp MCT oil 2x/day is relatively useless.
I have ApoE4, and there are arguments both ways as to whether to consume more or less fat with the 4 allele, so I'm going about 35% protein and splitting the rest between carbs and fats more or less evenly until there's a decent study done on this.
on July 06, 2013
at 04:31 AM
I would opt for the natural coconut oil in that most often natural foods contain enzymes and facilitators that science has yet to discover. I have been taking 3 tbsp coconut oil for a year every morning by melting it in milk and pouring on my cereal (raw oats, all bran, fruit, and nuts). My depression, brain fog, anxiety have gone. My neurons are firing again, maybe the best in 10-20 years. I am mentally and physically much stronger. 3 tbsp equals 42 grams of fat, yet I have not gained any weight. True, I had low cholesterol, great for heart health, but a death sentence for old people and dementia/Alzheimers. Costco has organic extra virgin coconut oil ... get it!