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-   -   Medium Chain Trigyclerides (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5911)

Daniel Christensen 12-03-2010 12:53 AM

Medium Chain Trigyclerides
I have read some recent information about the benefits of MCTs, particularly in a low-carb diet, e.g.

However, MCTs seem available only in a relatively small subset of foods. Iím wondering, what is the evolutionary story here? Why would the brain or body run so well on something that seems to be pretty rare?

Are people here taking MCTs in their diets?



Steven Low 12-03-2010 11:11 AM

It's likely a metabolic adaptation for when fruit was out of season that we could still survive and hunt fairly effectively without crashing and burning out which would leave us without food and thus starve.

The majority of coconut is medium chain triglycerides.

It also helps me sleep better so yeah I take it.

Daniel Christensen 12-05-2010 05:23 AM

Thanks Steven

I've just started using the coconut oils a bit as I'm decreasing carb content. I reckon I feel better (more energetic) after consuming some oils, but I'm reminded of the Simpson's episode where the townfolk turn a truck over looking for placebos.

I can see that the MCTs seem to be beneficial, but where in the paleolithic landscape were the MCTs coming from, so that our body could use them? Was there a food source (no longer around now) that our forebears were getting the MCTs from, or just lots of coconuts? Or is it too much of a stretch to make up an evolutionary story up (other than those who processed MCTs had an advantage and thus passed on their genes a bit more on average)?


sarena kopciel 12-05-2010 07:13 AM

On a side note, what's the deal with red pal oil? Anyone use it? Value?

Neill Smith 12-05-2010 07:18 AM

This doesn't answer the evolutionary question for adults, but a significant portion of the fat in human breast milk is medium chain triglycerides.

Daniel Christensen 12-05-2010 08:10 PM

Thanks Neill

That might be it. Running with an evolutionary story (fraught as it is), unless there was selection pressure to drop the adaptation, it'd stick around.

Steven Low 12-06-2010 01:30 PM

Fats have a benefit over carbohydrates in that they're hydrophobic so they absorb much more quickly through membranes (e.g. can be used as energy sources better) especially in the brain because things have to pass through the blood brain barrier. Hydrophilic substances needed to be pumped across it unlike most hydrophobics

Body needs insulin or glut4 receptors to drive glucose into cells.

Most aerobic metabolism runs off fat stores too so our bodies are built to run on fat. I don't see why it's a contradiction or anything. It is what it is.... MCTs are even more preferential than long chain but some short chains are easily metabolized too like butyric acid (derivatives of BA are neurotransmitters like GABA).

Andrew Midmer 12-07-2010 09:20 AM

Modern Day Studies w/ Paleo like Diets MCT
As far as I know, the studies linked below examine the use of MCTs with modern day civilizations eating paleo like diets. Similar to Samburu, Massai etc.

The Tokelau studies indicate that high consumption of MCTs, does not increase the risk of vascular disease.


Personally, I have used coconut as a way to gain mass, as I do not consume grain, legume, dairy.

Coconut milk w/out guar gum and unsweetened coconut flakes.

Steven Low 12-07-2010 09:56 AM

The other studies I've looked at on MCTs are in babies... and they improve their quality of sleep

So other good thing to note about perhaps trying to add in more coconut to your diet right before you sleep if you're stressed or need improved sleep

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