About MCT Oil:
MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil is a liquid oil manufactured through the esterification of glycerol using medium-chain fatty acids isolated from natural sources (Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, or a combination of the two). This oil is a lightweight and nourishing oil that exhibits unique sensory and chemical characteristics. It is colorless with a mild characteristic odor and remains in a liquid state at room temperature, making it highly convenient to use. It also shows high oxidation resistance.
- This oil is popular in aromatherapy and massage therapy as a carrier oil as it does not interfere with the scent of aromatic blends, absorbs rapidly, does not stain clothing, and leaves behind a silky but non-greasy feeling to the skin.
- In cosmetics, MCT is ideal in emulsions or when a soothing and non-greasy emollient is required with neutral sensory characteristics and long shelf life.
- MCT is used widely in the food industry as well as in nutritional, pharmaceutical, weight loss, and other health applications.
MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides) were first used in the mid-1900s for reducing seizures with the help of the ketogenic diet. In 1980, the MCT became popular in sports as a substitute for normal dietary fats or oils. It became a favorite energy source for many athletes, such as marathon runners, who participate in endurance sports. The athletes need a quick source of energy, which is readily supplied by carbohydrates. MCT is also a form of fat; therefore, it is high in calories. Yet, unlike normal fats and oils, MCTs do not cause weight gain because they stimulate thermogenesis.
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What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is a type of oil that is synthesized from pure Coconut Oil. It displays special qualities & properties like high stability, lightweight texture, fast absorption, colorless or very pale-colored appearance, and an extremely light odor with the skin-replenishing and moisturizing benefits of the source fatty acids. This oil is used widely in cosmetics, personal care, aromatherapy, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, and medicine.
MCTs are found in vegetable oils and animal dairy products such as milk, butter, clarified butter, and cheese. Coconut Oil and Palm Oil are both rich sources of MCTs, and MCT Oil is therefore made from these natural oils.
While technically classified as a medium-chain fatty acid, Lauric Acid (C12) behaves much like a long-chain fatty acid. It is therefore not considered to be as useful or beneficial in cosmetic, industrial, or health applications of MCT Oil, and is removed in high-quality MCT Oils. NDA’s MCT Oils consist of Caprylic Acid (C8) and Capric Acid (C10) fatty acids, along with a small proportion of Caproic Acid (C6).
Is There A Difference Between MCT Oil And Fractionated Coconut Oil?
MCT oil is derived from coconut oil & is called Fractionated coconut oil. It is important to know that the term ‘Fractionated Coconut Oil’ also refers to a product in which Coconut Oil has undergone simple fractionation to remove its long-chain fatty acids.
Fractionated coconut oil is also high in MCTs; its physical & chemical characteristics can be similar to MCT oil. It has an even lighter, more powdery, non-oily texture and has a faster absorbency speed compared to Fractionated Coconut Oil.
MCT Oil Benefits & Composition
MCT oil is uniquely customized chemical make-up that’s why it displays wide-ranging benefits that relate to its appealing sensory and physicochemical characteristics. The main chemical constituents are responsible for these characteristics are Caprylic Acid (C8) and Capric Acid (C10). These fatty acids also contribute to the nourishing cosmetic and health benefits observed with MCT Oil.
The beneficial physio-chemical properties of MCT Oil include:
- Colorless or very pale yellow in appearance
- Emits a mild characteristic odor
- Remains in a liquid state at room temperature
- Low viscosity and lightweight texture
- Absorbs rapidly into the skin
- Non-greasy and non-staining
- Excellent heat stability (can be heated or frozen)
- Excellent oxidative stability, contributing to the lifespan of products
- Acts as a versatile solvent, as it is soluble in lipids and oils, in addition to acids and alcohols
In addition to these characteristics, Caprylic Acid (C8) and Capric Acid (C10) fatty acids are believed to have extensive benefits for skincare and health:
- Reputed antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties
- Powerful anti-inflammatory properties
- Powerful antioxidant properties
- Provides a fast-releasing source of energy
- Used as a natural treatment for acne and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema
- Helps regulate cholesterol
- Helps with weight management
The following summary highlights the therapeutic properties and activities that MCT Oil is believed to show:
MEDICINAL: Anti-Microbial, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Oxidant, Regulative, Preventative, Energy Aid, Digestive Aid, Weight Reduction
It is used in aromatherapy & massage applications, it functions as an ideal carrier oil for essential oils due to its easy-to-use liquid state and mild odor. It is popular among massage therapists as it has quick-absorbing, non-greasy, and non-staining properties.
It is used in skincare, haircare & cosmetic products as it provides a light and highly stable moisturizing base that carries neutral sensory characteristics. MCT oil can enhance the consistency of an emulsion which can add to the performance perception by the consumer and is also ideal in rinse-off products.
It is used in medicines & nutrition as MCT has built a reputation of being a more potent, easily absorbed, rapidly digested dietary product that can be useful for those with nutritional or lipid metabolism disorders.
MCT oil can be made from either Coconut or Palm Oil, as they are both rich sources of the required medium-chain fatty acids.
Crude coconut oil or palm oil has to undergo undergoes hydrolysis, which essentially separates the fatty acids from the glycerol ‘backbone’ within their fat compounds. The fatty acids are separated at their boiling points through fractional distillation. As medium-chain fatty acids have lower boiling points than long-chain fatty acids, they can be collected by heating and allowing to cool at appropriate temperatures
Once these medium-chain fatty acids are isolated, they are combined with glycerol once again to form Medium-Chain Triglycerides in a process known as esterification.
As this is a highly targeted process, the desired ratios of C8 and C10 can be used in esterification. Thus, in an MCT 60/40 oil, 60% of the fatty acids used will be Caprylic Acid (C8) and 40% will be Capric Acid (C10).
Finally, filtering and deodorization take place to clean and improve the sensorial characteristics of the resulting MCT Oil.
MCT has remarkable versatility & appealing sensory characteristics, it is used in a wide range of applications in the personal care, cosmetic, and aromatherapy sectors. It can be used as a cosmetic, massage, and carrier oil, or it can be incorporated in the manufacturing of creams, lotions, cleansing oils, salves, body butter, bath scrubs, makeup, and many other nourishing products.
- It is used in skin care regimens as MCT oil acts as an excellent non-greasy and non-comedogenic emollient. For lasting hydration and softness, apply a few drops of MCT Oil on the face and neck using clean fingertips or a facial cotton pad.
- It is used on the body as it functions as a moisturizing body oil that leaves the skin silky soft and soothed after shaving. It is applied after a bath or shower to lock in moisture and maintain skin hydration.
- It is used in hair as this oil quickly transforms the appearance of dry, unhealthy locks by adding luster and moisture; those with dry, flaky scalps can benefit from a scalp and hair massage with this rejuvenating oil.
- It is used for lips & nails as it nourishes dry, cracked cuticles, soak the fingers in a small bowl of MCT Oil for five minutes, and then massage the oil around the nail bed to stimulate blood flow and condition the surrounding skin.
For aromatherapy, MCT Oil acts as an ideal carrier oil with a neutral odor and a long shelf life. When combined with essential oils, it enables their beautiful aromas to be released without any masking, and, when applied topically, helps their therapeutic benefits be assimilated quickly and effectively through the skin.
Guide to MCT Oil Varieties & Benefits:
|MCT Oil varieties||Country of Origin||Benefits|
|MCT 60/40 Fractionated 100% Coconut Oil – Coconut Fractionated||Malaysia|| |
|MCT 60/40 Fractionated 100% Coconut Organic Oil||Sri Lanka|| |
|Medium Chain Triglyceride – MCT 60/40 Oil||Malaysia|
- Consult the doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding
- It can lead to miscarriage.
- It can hurt the fetus.
- Keep away from the children under 7.