Best MCT Oils

Updated March 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
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226 Consumers Consulted
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best MCT oils

Last Updated March 2019

MCT oil is an odorless and tasteless liquid supplement derived from coconut or palm oil that has powerful brain-boosting and energy-enhancing benefits. This medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) is a healthy fat that can actually help you lose weight — a claim backed by science.

Coconut oil is all the rage in the health and wellness world, and interestingly, MCT oil is derived from coconuts. In fact, through MCT oil, it is thought that you can get a much greater concentration of useful MCTs like caprylic acid and capric acid than you would get from ingesting coconut oil alone. Keep reading to find out more about this game-changing supplement.

MCT oil is hugely popular in the keto diet as a healthy fat that promotes the metabolic state of “ketosis,” in which the body burns fat instead of carbs.

Benefits of MCT oil

MCTs are medium-chain fatty acids with health benefits that set them apart from other fatty acids. The difference lies in the way they’re metabolized by the body. Here are some of the benefits.

  • Appetite suppression
  • Excess calorie burning; weight loss
  • Gut health support
  • Immune system support
  • Antimicrobial properties, including anti-candida benefits
  • Quick energy without jitters
  • Brain boost
  • Easier to digest than other fats

 

MCT oil vs. coconut oil

Coconut oil is sometimes marketed as being a great source of MCTs when, in fact, it is highest in lauric acid — the least-beneficial MCT. Coconut oil contains four strains of MCTs: caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12). Three of these are quickly absorbed by the body, bypassing the gut and converting to energy thanks to the liver. Those three are C6, C8, and C10.

Lauric acid, on the other hand, is slow to convert to energy because it goes through your stomach. Though lauric acid is good for you, it doesn’t offer that energy boost that may people seek, nor does it offer the degree of antimicrobial benefits that other MCTs do.

Unfortunately, many MCT oils are cut with lauric acid, thereby weakening the energy benefits and antimicrobial properties. The most effective MCT oil contains a high amount of caprylic acid and capric acid.

DID YOU KNOW?

Caprylic acid is a potent strain of MCT oil that is effectively broken down into “ketones” and provides cellular energy.

Key considerations

Size: MCT oils are liquid at room temperature and generally come in opaque plastic bottles. The average bottle size is 32 ounces or 16 ounces. A serving size is one to two tablespoons per day. Some manufacturers offer serving-size packets of MCT oil for convenience or travel.

Ease of pouring: MCT oils are thin and tend to exit the bottle quickly. For some people, having a squirt bottle cap helps control the flow. Others find this type of cap messy or leaky. Many MCT oils don’t come with a pour spout at all, forcing consumers to find creative solutions, like reusing olive oil bottles.

Palm vs. coconut: The coconut tree and palm tree are both in the palm family, and both provide a great source of MCT oil. Some MCT oils are a mixture of both palm and coconut. For eco-minded consumers, opt for MCT oils derived only from coconuts — unless the palm oil is sustainably sourced.

 

Features

  • Organic MCT oils are derived from certified organic coconuts and palm kernels free from pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. These products tend to be non-GMO as well.
  • Flavored MCT oils add flavor to this otherwise tasteless supplement. Common flavors include mocha and vanilla.
  • BPA-free bottles are an important feature to the health-conscious consumer, as BPA is a potentially harmful chemical found in some plastics.  
EXPERT TIP

MCT oil mixes easily into hot coffee. It’ll give your java an extra energy kick and help you stay full longer.


Staff  | BestReviews

MCT oil prices

A 32-ounce entry-level MCT oil can be found in the $19 to $24 price range. For a higher-quality MCT oil made from non-GMO or organic coconuts, expect to pay $24 to $27 for the same bottle size.

For the ultimate investment in your health, expect to spend $28 to $48 on a 32-ounce bottle of MCT oil. These products tend to be the purest form of MCT oil. You may also be paying extra for sustainably grown coconuts or palm.

Tips

  • When starting an MCT oil supplement for the first time, begin with a small amount (half of a teaspoon to one teaspoon) and gradually increase to the recommended dosage. This will help reduce side effects such as gastrointestinal issues. 
  • If your MCT oil causes stomach upset or makes your throat burn, it could be because the manufacturer did not remove enough caproic acid (C6) during the distillation process or because the oil was extracted through solvents, creating an impure product. Choose an MCT oil with higher production standards.
  • The best way to take MCT oil is to add it to beverages or food. It is a common addition to “butter coffee” — a popular element of the keto diet that has added butter or ghee. Smoothies, hot cereals, and salad dressings are also prime candidates for adding MCT oil.
  • You can incorporate MCT oil into recipes that call for low- to mid-temperature cooking. Be aware that MCT oil has a lower smoke point than regular coconut oil.
CAUTION

The smoking point of MCT oil is 320°F, which means cooking with it above this temperature will damage the fats and make it less potent.

Other products we considered

For one of the purest MCT oils the market has to offer, we adore Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil. This popular MCT product contains pure C8, the rarest MCT strain that packs the most potent energy and brain boost. From the creators of the popular “bulletproof diet,” this ketogenic supplement mixes like a charm into your butter coffee or your morning smoothie.

Another MCT oil that your body will thank you for is Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Brain Health 100% Organic Coconut MCT Oil. Containing C8 and C10, this MCT oil energizes the brain and fuels it with the healthy fats it needs to run. We love that it’s made from sustainably grown coconuts that are organic and non-GMO — good for the environment and good for you.

Supplementing with an MCT oil can help curb cravings, especially for sugar.

FAQ

Q. How does MCT oil benefit my gut? 
A.
MCT oil is easier to digest than other fats because, unlike long-chain triglycerides, they are easily absorbed by the body, thereby giving your gastrointestinal tract a break. They also have antiviral and antibacterial properties (some MCTs more than others) and may help balance the gut microbiome by combating “bad” bacteria. Capric acid, in particular, may have antifungal properties to combat candida.

Q. How does MCT oil help my brain?
A.
MCTs easily break down in the body, so they can be used as immediately as energy. If you’re on a keto diet, these healthy fats turn into ketones in the liver. Ketones can pass the blood-brain barrier, making them a perfect energy source for your brain. People who regularly consume MCT oil report increased mental sharpness and stamina. MCT oils containing mainly caprylic and capric acid are particularly brain-friendly and may even help with memory loss.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ana
    Ana
    Writer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Sara
    Sara
    Writer

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