MCT oil has grown in popularity over recent years, as it is said to help with fat-burning and ketosis. But, does it make you poop? I’ve done some research and here’s what I found!
According to MotionMedicalGroup.com, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil has a natural laxative effect due to the fact that it is rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract. However, it is important to gradually incorporate MCT oil into your diet, as too much can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Keep reading to learn why diarrhea is so commonly reported by users of MCT oil, as well as how to avoid this and additional side effects that this oil may cause!
Why Diarrhea From MCT Oil Is So Common (& How To Prevent It)
While MCT oil is commonly used for its potential health benefits, one of the most commonly reported side effects is diarrhea. Once MCT oil is ingested, it travels along the digestive tract where it is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine. It is then transported to the liver where it is broken down into ketones.
According to MotionMedicalGroup.com, the rapid absorption (without the need for digestion or production of digestive enzymes) of MCT oil can result in the irritation of your digestive tract. Once the digestive tract becomes irritated, it attempts to clear its content as soon as possible, hence why MCT oil can cause diarrhea.
Another possible reason MCT may be causing diarrhea is gue to its glycerol composition. Similar to all triglycerides, MCTs have glycerol, which is actually a hyperosmotic laxative. This means that it draws water from surrounding tissues into the colon, resulting in a quicker bowel movement.
While this may be great for chronic constipation sufferers, it’s not ideal for those who do not!
Tips To Prevent Diarrhea From MCT Oil
Even though diarrhea is an extremely common side effect of MCT oil, you may be able to avoid this simply by following the below tips:
1. Get Your Dosage Right
Taking too much MCT in one sitting is a guaranteed way to experience diarrhea! Too much of this oil will send your GI system into shock and cause it to react by disposing of its contents through diarrhea.
To avoid this, make sure you very carefully set your dosage of MCT. If you are a beginner, start with a small daily dose of only one teaspoon. You can then gradually increase your dosage to one tablespoon per day after about one week. This can help your digestive tract to adapt to digesting this substance effectively without causing diarrhea.
Insider Tip: If you are already taking two tablespoons of MCT oil daily, it may be a wise idea to split this dose into two—once in the morning and again in the evening. This will help to prevent overloading your digestive tract with too much MCT in one go.
2. Take MCT Oil With Food
It seems that another effective way to avoid diarrhea when taking MCT oil is to take it with some food. This will help to stimulate your digestive tract and promote the production of digestive enzymes and juices. This will also slow down the absorption of the oil as it will be absorbed in conjunction with the food.
3. Avoid BulletProof Coffee
Many people tend to consume MCT oil in conjunction with bulletproof coffee, which may be a big mistake. While bulletproof coffee has a wide range of benefits, it will also raise your risk of diarrhea when consumed with MCT oil, as both bulletproof coffee and MCT oil stimulate the gut, increasing your chances of diarrhea.
What Are The Side Effects of MCT Oil (& Who Should Avoid It)
While we know that taking too much MCT oil at once can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, there are certain individuals who should avoid taking MCT oil altogether if they wish to avoid any additional unwanted side effects.
Individuals With Type 1 Diabetes
According to Healthline, some sources have discouraged those with type 1 diabetes from consuming MCT products, and this is because of the production of ketones. High levels of ketones in the blood may increase the risk of ketoacidosis, which is a very serious condition that can affect people with type 1 diabetes.
However, the nutritional ketosis caused by a diet low in carbohydrates is totally different to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a very serious condition caused by a lack of insulin.
For those who manage their diabetes effectively and have healthy blood sugar levels, ketone levels remain within a normal and safe range, despite periods of ketosis.
There are only limited recent studies that have explored the use of MCTs and those with diabetes, but older studies have indicated that there are no significant harmful effects.
Women Who Are Pregnant and Breast-feeding
Unfortunately, there is not enough reliable information that can tell us the effects of MCT usage on pregnancy or breastfeeding. As with most things, if you are not completely sure of the effects something is having on your unborn/newborn child, it may be wise to simply avoid using MCT oil until you have finished breastfeeding.
According to WebMD, Since MCT is processed predominantly by the liver, it places extra pressure on your liver as it tries to break it down. If you suffer from liver disease, you are placing unnecessary pressure on your already weakened liver. If you do have this disease, rather avoid MCTs completely, as well as if you have cirrhosis or related liver complications.
Does MCT Oil Make You Lose Weight?
Many people take MCT in conjunction with a low-carbohydrate diet in order to speed up the weight loss process. But just how much evidence is there to back this up?
MCT Oil Promotes Satiety
According to studies, MCT oil has been shown to promote the release of two hormones that are known to increase feelings of satiety; namely peptide YY and leptin. In fact, it may be even more effective than coconut oil for keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
One study discovered that those who consumed two tablespoons of MCT oil with their breakfast ended up eating less food at lunchtime when comparing to those who took coconut oil instead. This same study also showed that there was a lowered rise in triglycerides and glucose, which also influences feelings of satiety.
MCT Decreases Body Weight
Taking MCT oil has also been shown to significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference. Researchers have also stated that it can be used to help to prevent obesity, according to studies.
MCT also contains approximately 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are naturally found in food items such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts. The body also processes MCTs differently, which may further promote the burning of calories.
Your body may also process MCT oil as an instant energy source, which makes the storage of fat less necessary. That said, your body may, over time, adapt to this change, making results short-lived.
MCTs Are Converted Into Ketones
Interestingly, MCTs are converted into ketones, which are a by-product from the breakdown of fats when carbohydrate intake is low. If you are following the ketogenic diet (low in carbs and high in fat) then consuming MCT oil can help you remain in a state of ketosis (fat-burning).
MCT Promotes Gut Health
Additionally, your gut environment is vital when it comes to weight management. MCT oil can actually help to promote the growth of “good” bacteria, as well as supporting the lining of the gut, which all works to help with weight loss.