Uses and Benefits of Coconut MCT in the Life Sciences Market
New research into the health benefits of medium-chain triglycerides such as coconut oil suggests a wide range of health benefits for human beings and animals. Many in the food and beverage sector tout coconut MCT as a nutritional supplement, and it has various applications in the life sciences market, from the abovementioned nutritional supplements to pet and farm animal food. The product is diverse, and users can also enjoy pharmaceutical applications.
Trends continue to lean towards bio-based chemicals across multiple industries, including coconut MCT. Increased interest in the product and its associated benefits and uses provide businesses in the life sciences industry with a diverse and valuable tool. To use it to its full and dynamic capabilities in the life sciences market, it’s best to have an in-depth understanding of coconut MCT’s benefits and applications.
What Is Coconut MCT?
Coconut MCT is a form of saturated fat, but it has been refined to remove long-chain triglycerides. It consists entirely of medium-chain triglycerides, which are easy to digest, as they have a shorter chain of carbon atoms. Manufacturers refine raw coconut oil to create pure and concentrated MCT oil. When digested, the body transports MCT directly to the liver and becomes a quick-release energy source.
MCT is also created from palm oil and has little taste or smell, making it useful for nutritional supplementation, animal food and pharmaceutical applications. In short, MCT oil and coconut oil are the same things. The only difference is the original feedstock used to create the product.
What Are the Uses of Coconut MCT?
Coconut MCT has a variety of uses across many industries. In the life sciences industries, some common uses of coconut MCT include the following:
MCT oil has become popular among sportspeople due to its potential weight loss and energy benefits. It promotes ketosis, allowing the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates as an energy source. Coconut MCT can help users feel full for longer and could improve endurance during exercise, which aids in weight loss relative to long-chain triglycerides.
Research is still ongoing, but coconut MCT use is promising concerning epilepsy and dementia patients. Putting the body in a state of ketosis has been known to minimize seizures in epileptic patients. As MCT can be converted into ketones, it may benefit the process. Although the ketogenic diet may assist people with epilepsy, they must discuss all their options with a medical professional before proceeding.
Alzheimer’s disease impairs cerebral glucose and insulin metabolism, so the brain’s ability to use sugar for energy is compromised. As part of a ketogenic diet, Coconut MCT provides the brain with an alternate energy source. Older studies show an enhanced cognitive capacity in patients following the ketogenic regimen. The benefits are promising and more research is constantly emerging.
Pet and Livestock Feed
The benefits coconut MCT poses to humans can also be applied to animals. Coconut MCT is palatable to dogs and other animals due to its lack of scent and flavor. While still in the research phase, the potential benefits to animals are numerous and may include increased skin and coat health and improved metabolic function. Many animal food manufacturers in the commercial market have coconut MCT in their products to provide pets and livestock with added benefits.
What Is the Difference Between Coconut Oil and Coconut MCT Oil?
There are similarities between coconut oil and coconut MCT, but they are not the same. Coconut MCT oil is concentrated and refined, so while it is made from coconut oil, whole coconut oil only contains a small percentage of MCT oil. Consumers would have to digest more coconut oil to gain the same MCT benefits. Both coconut and MCT oil are used for cooking and nutritional purposes, but a higher concentration of MCT is needed for pharmaceutical applications.
Coconut oil is comprised of a longer chain, meaning it’s more challenging to digest and doesn’t provide the same quick-release energy. Both forms of saturated fat have benefits in the life sciences industry, although their applications are slightly different. Both give a natural, bio-based nutritional alternative.
What Is C8/C10 Fatty Acid?
The principal medium-chain fatty acids include the following:
- C6: caproic acid or hexonic acid
- C8: caprylic acid or octanoic acid
- C10: capric acid or decanoic acid
- C12: lauric acid or dodecanoic acid
In general, high-quality coconut MCT contains only C8 and C10 or a combination of the two fatty acids. C8 is more efficient to digest, as the chain is shorter. While C10 takes slightly longer for the body to convert, it still allows for a quick release of energy. While all MCTs digest faster than long-chain, there is still a variation in the digestion process. Rapid digestion is one of the critical elements of MCT health benefits. Thus manufacturers use the highest quality and most easily digestible options.
Coconut MCT’s Benefits and Uses in the Life Science Industry
Coconut MCT is refined but provides users with a chemical-free alternative for various life sciences applications. The benefits of use include the following:
- Unique chemical characteristics: The unique characteristics of coconut MCT allow for easy digestion and energy conversion, often making it an excellent choice for athletes and those looking to lose weight without fatigue and energy loss.
- Versatile applications: MCT is pale yellow or colorless. While there is a slight odor in specific applications, it’s a versatile product that is easily digestible for humans and livestock. It’s lightweight and remains liquid at room temperature, so it’s effortless to use as an additive or in its capacity.
- Nutritional and pharmaceutical capabilities: While there is still much research to be conducted, the benefits of coconut MCT to assist with certain conditions are multifold. Further research will undoubtedly uncover more applications within the life science industry sphere. MCT has been known to aid in weight loss and to lower cholesterol levels, contains powerful antioxidant properties and is reputed to have antibacterial properties.
- Excellent heat and oxidative stability: Users can heat or freeze MCT, depending on the application. It can stand up against oxidization, contributing to the product life cycle and aiding in product longevity.
- Dynamic solvent capabilities: MCT is soluble in acids, alcohols, lipids and oils.
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