Intermittent fasting is a diet that limits when you can eat certain foods. Depending on the nutrition plan you use and the goals you want to achieve, the fasting period can range from 12 to 24 hours.
This article will go over MCT oil fasting, which can be a great support system to help you along the way and has the potential to make your entire fasting period easier if done correctly.
MCT oil is a popular supplement in the health world. Those who follow the keto diet or any intermittent fasting plan love it. If you’re looking for a supplement to help you lose weight, clear your mind, and push you to the finish line, MCT oil may be the answer.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Since ancient times, intermittent fasting (IF) or abstention from food and drink has been a prevalent religious practice. Intermittent fasting is becoming more popular as a method of caloric limitation. In studies, intermittent fasting has been defined as a variety of regimens such as alternate day fasting (AFD), modified AFD, and the 5:2 diet1.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the interval between when your body has burnt through the calories from your previous meal and begins to burn fat2. Prolonged very low-calorie diets might create physiological changes that cause your body to adapt to the calorie restriction and so inhibit future weight loss. Fasting on alternating days, for complete days with a specified frequency per week, or for a set time frame are the most prevalent techniques3.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Unlike calorie-restricted diets (which have also been linked to longevity), the goal of intermittent fasting is to extend the time between the last meal of one day and the first of the next.
Intermittent fasting has been shown in human trials to improve illness indicators such as insulin resistance, blood fat abnormalities, high blood pressure, and inflammation, even in the absence of weight loss4.
Here’s an outline of the benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Improving Insulin Sensitivity
- Reduction in body weight or visceral fat implied the improvement in insulin sensitivity, preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that IF intervention resulted not only in weight loss but also with insulin sensitivity. An analysis of insulin sensitivity after IF diet showed that insulin levels reduced by an average of 13.25 mU/L. With this, the study suggests that IF diets have therapeutic effects on individuals with impaired glucose and lipid metabolism5.
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Intermittent fasting has been shown in humans to lower blood pressure, oxidative stress, and the risk of atherosclerosis. A month of alternate-day fasting effectively lowers blood pressure and heart rate in healthy nonobese adults, implying that continuous fasting may boost parasympathetic activity6.
- Improve Cardiovascular Health
- Intermittent fasting appears to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system in human research. Although the exact processes are unknown, intermittent fasting appears to have a favorable impact on a variety of cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. In addition, intermittent fasting has been linked to better results following a cardiac episode7.
- Lower the Risks of Diabetes
- Insulin resistance, the most prominent feature of type 2 diabetes, has long been known to improve with calorie restriction. Insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels decline after fasting. As a result, fasting and postprandial glucose levels improve. Furthermore, because insulin promotes adipose tissue growth, there is a decreased likelihood of weight gain and, in certain cases, can potentially influence weight loss8.
Before attempting intermittent fasting (or any diet), consult with your health care practitioner. Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have various impacts from person to person. Consult your doctor if you have unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea, or other symptoms before and after beginning intermittent fasting.
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil is a nutritional supplement made composed of MCT fats, which are lipids present in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products. MCT oil is primarily utilized by persons who want to lose weight or increase their endurance during a workout.
Fats are made up of chains of carbon atoms, and the majority of the fats in your diet include 10 to 20 of these atoms. These are known as long-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids, on the other hand, have six or fewer carbon atoms.
MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides that fall between the other two types. They have a medium length and are made up of 8 to 12 carbon atoms. MCTs, which are contained in coconut oil, are digested differently by the body than long-chain fatty acids. They travel directly from the intestines to the liver, unlike other fats. They are then used as an energy source or converted into ketones.
Ketones are compounds created by the liver when a large amount of fat is broken down, and they can be used for energy by the brain instead of glucose or sugar. MCT calories are less likely to be stored as fat because they are utilized immediately. The ketogenic diet, which many people feel is an efficient approach to losing weight, is based on this premise9.
Benefits of MCT Oil
Listed below are the potential benefits of MCT oil:
- Weight Loss
- Clinical investigations have demonstrated that medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCTs) cause more energy expenditure than long-chain triacylglycerols. When used as part of a weight-loss strategy, MCT oil promotes weight loss when compared to olive oil and can thus be successfully incorporated in a weight-reduction diet. Small modifications in the quality of fat consumption can thus help to boost weight loss10.
- Improves Gut Health
- A healthy gut promotes overall wellness, including digestive, cardiovascular, and cognitive health. Unlike long-chain triglycerides, MCT oil digests significantly faster because your body absorbs it swiftly and delivers it directly to the liver12.
- However, depending on your body composition, you may suffer certain adverse effects from ingesting MCT oil in your gut. Stomach discomfort and diarrhea are possible side effects. Consider starting with a modest dose and gradually increasing it if your body does not react negatively13.
- Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- MCT oil may help you maintain a normal blood sugar level. It may also help you lose weight and reduce your waist circumference. MCT oil may aid in the maintenance of blood glucose levels by improving insulin levels and sensitivity. If you wish to utilize MCT oil to manage your blood glucose levels, you should first consult with your doctor13.
- Overall Health Benefits
- Because of its effect on chronic diseases, MCT oil may be good for your general health to help with:
- elevated cholesterol levels
- BMI (body mass index)
- high blood pressure
- According to research14, MCT oil coupled with phytosterols and flaxseed oil may help lower total cholesterol. It may also promote the creation of HDL15, or good cholesterol. As a result, MCT oil may lower your risk of heart disease.
- Because of its effect on chronic diseases, MCT oil may be good for your general health to help with:
- Other Additional Health Benefits
- Energy boost
- Improve heart health
- Improve athletic performance
- Improves memory
MCT Oil Fasting
Taking additional MCT oil during fasting may seem sensible in an attempt to alleviate hunger pangs. MCT oil has been found to increase the hormones that reduce appetite and make you feel full11. This is especially useful in a fast, prolonging your chances of abstaining from food.
However, too much can result in unpleasant side effects such as stomach distress, bloating, and cramps. It may also have a laxative effect, causing diarrhea.
When you first wake up in the morning, this is the best time to drink MCT oil. That way, you get that energy boost at the start of your day, motivating you to keep your fast going. You might also mix it into a cup of black coffee, tea, or another calorie-free beverage.
When purchasing MCT oil, make sure to read the label. Although the oil is the purest form, some manufacturers add other additives, such as artificial sweeteners, which add calories and decrease efficacy12.
How Much MCT Oil Should You Take?
A good place to start is, since there is a chance your intestines may respond negatively to it, take it with tiny dosages. Taking 1-2 tablespoons of MCT straight or adding it to meals or drinks like coffee.
To avoid disrupting your fast, the dosage must be adjusted. Take smaller doses during your fast, you can continue to use the rest of the doses after your fast is finished. It should be noted that MCT oil is not calorie-free, thus you don’t want an influx of calories.
MCT is available in the form of oil, tablets, and powder. MCT oil is the purest type and is the most popular. Some people dislike the oil and would like an MCT oil supplement in the form of powder or pills instead13.
Does MCT Oil Break A Fast?
MCT oil will only minimally break a fast and for a very short amount of time since MCT oil swiftly converts to ketone production, and the ketones will contribute to your health benefits. The following are some of the health benefits of ketones16:
- Suppress hunger
- Better brain energy
- Promote ketosis
- Stimulates metabolism
- Improves energy/exercise endurance
Given all of the benefits MCT oil can provide, it may be a supplement worth including in your diet. It’s worth a go if you have sugar cravings or struggle with weight loss, belly fat, or carb cravings and wish for it to effectively compliment your fast.
Consuming MCT oil, on the other hand, isn’t for everyone. Even though it is beneficial for weight loss, it still contains a lot of calories and can lead to weight gain if you merely add it to your current diet without taking precautions. MCT oil is not recommended for you if you are deficient in vital fatty acids.
If you do decide to use MCT oil, bear in mind that you should begin gradually to avoid any digestive discomfort. Consult your doctor before including MCT oil or any other supplement into your diet.
2 Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? (2022, October 20). Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work
5 Yuan, X., Wang, J., Yang, S., Gao, M., Cao, L., Li, X., Hong, D., Tian, S., & Sun, C. (2022). Effect of Intermittent Fasting Diet on Glucose and Lipid Metabolism and Insulin Resistance in Patients with Impaired Glucose and Lipid Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International journal of endocrinology, 2022, 6999907. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/6999907
6 Gonzalez, J. E., & Cooke, W. H. (2022). Influence of an acute fast on ambulatory blood pressure and autonomic cardiovascular control. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 322(6), R542–R550. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00283.2021
7 Dong, T. A., Sandesara, P. B., Dhindsa, D. S., Mehta, A., Arneson, L. C., Dollar, A. L., Taub, P. R., & Sperling, L. S. (2020). Intermittent Fasting: A Heart Healthy Dietary Pattern?. The American journal of medicine, 133(8), 901–907. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.03.030
10 St-Onge, M. P., & Bosarge, A. (2008). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 621–626. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.3.621
11 St-Onge MP, Mayrsohn B, O’Keeffe M, Kissileff HR, Choudhury AR, Laferrère B. Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;68(10):1134-40. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.145. Epub 2014 Jul 30. PMID: 25074387; PMCID: PMC4192077.
14 Rudkowska, I., Roynette, C.E., Nakhasi, D.K. and Jones, P.J.H. (2006). Phytosterols mixed with medium-chain triglycerides and high-oleic canola oil decrease plasma lipids in overweight men. Metabolism, [online] 55(3), pp.391–395. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16483884/
15 Cardoso DA;Moreira AS;de Oliveira GM;Raggio Luiz R;Rosa G (2015). A COCONUT EXTRA VIRGIN OIL-RICH DIET INCREASES HDL CHOLESTEROL AND DECREASES WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE AND BODY MASS IN CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE PATIENTS. Nutricion hospitalaria, [online] 32(5). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26545671/