MCT - Medium Chain Triglycerides: the unsuspected energy

To understand the difference between LCTs (long chain triglycerides) and MCTs, it is essential to address the issue of digestion. This is where the major interest of MCTs lies!

Concerning LCTs, the digestion process is slow (6 to 10 hours on average) and involves many actors and steps: first, it is necessary to make the fats soluble in water so that they can pass the wall of the intestine. They are emulsified into fine droplets with the bile from the liver and then broken down into free fatty acids by enzymes present in the pancreatic juices. Thus broken down, the fatty acids can pass through the wall of the intestine and be transported, via specific transporters, in the lymphatic system to the liver. They can then be used as an energy substrate or stored in the adipose tissue according to the body's needs.

In order to generate energy, a final step consists in making them enter the cells, in which there are mitochondria. By analogy, these are the small chimneys of the cell, and the TG is going to be the firewood! Other specific transporters will therefore allow to play the wheelbarrow and to bring the wood into the hearth!

MCTs, because of their shorter structure, do not require the action of enzymes and are water-soluble, so we save a lot of time. They pass directly through the intestinal barrier and are transported to the liver to serve as an energy substrate for the cells. The2nd advantage, and not the least, is that they do not require a specific transport system to reach the mitochondria. They therefore reach the heart of the reactor without hindrance in order to quickly release energy. As they are very easily consumed, they are used in priority and are therefore very rarely stored!

So, once this is deposited here, let's move on to our MCT oil!

Once we've said all that, it's quite simple, you'll already have understood: MCT oil (or TCM) is an oil composed solely of Medium Chain Triglycerides. It is frequently derived from coconut oil but can also come from palm oil (so be careful with the quality of the oil purchased).

It is obtained by fractionation, a process that allows to exclude any other element than MCTs in the oil. Depending on their composition, MCT oils contain capric acid (C8) and caprylic acid (C10) in different proportions, never caproic acid (C6, with an unpleasant taste and smell) and very rarely lauric acid (C12, or only slightly present in MCT oils with a less qualitative composition).


The strong points of the TCM oil for the sportsmen :

  • Consisting entirely of MCTs, the energy contained in the oil is rapidly assimilated and does not cause any variation in blood sugar levels, particularly during endurance sports, unlike sugar. It will to nourish quickly and well the brain, muscles and heart, without causing sluggishness.
  • One gram of fat = 9kcal, against 4kcal for one gram of carbohydrates or proteins. One thus has more than double the energy with equal dose. Ideal for not to overload its organization with food during the effortIt's ideal for the body's energy needs, while providing it with the necessary fuel.
  • TCM oil is an important ally in a ketogenic or Low Carb-High Fat (LCHF) diet and can be used to make or enrich many recipes such as bulletproof coffee. It is the darling of its followers because it is better absorbed and it generates more ketones than LCHF: roughly speaking, we consume a little less fat in favor of protein or a little carbohydrates for example, which makes the diet easier to follow and a little less restrictive.


For all these reasons, we decided tointegrate TCM oil in our Holyfat products ! The objective is to offer athletes a healthy and effective alternative to sugary products, which are now almost the only options for refreshments on long rides. The MCT oil contained in Holyfat is of excellent composition (capric and caprylic acids only) and can provide 300 kcal of energy for 40g of product, with 80% lipids and less than 3.5% sugars. It comes from coconut oil, guaranteed 100% palm oil free, and perfectly complements the contributions of oilseeds to offer athletes a tasty snack, easy to consume and quickly assimilated to keep up with training or an endurance competition!

What products does Holyfat use MCT oil in?

We add MCT oil or powder to all our purées and bars.

Where does the oil we use come from?

We buy our MCT oil/powder from an ISO 22000 certified supplier in the Netherlands.

To deepen...

MCT oil is also used in the medical field for patients having undergone certain surgeries or suffering from certain digestive pathologies... or neurological pathologies! Indeed, the interest of MCTs has been demonstrated in the treatment of epilepsy for example. According to a recent clinical trial (2019), a consumption of MCTs (converted into ketones to feed the brain instead of sugar) at an early stage of Alzheimer's disease could be beneficial to reduce cognitive degradation. A December 2019 meta-analysis in Ageing Research Reviews (422 participants) found that MCTs can induce mild ketosis and improve cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.