Darlene Rose

MCT Oil

Benefits and Uses of MCT Oils

Fad foods come and go, but one substance that continues to gain traction is MCT oil. Look around in health stores today, and you’re likely to see multiple products raving that they contain this metabolism-boosting superfood.

But what is MCT oil, and will it make a difference for your health? Here are the things you need to know about MCT oil to decide whether you should add some to your diet.

What is MCT Oil?

More than just a buzzword in the health world, MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil is one of the most bioavailable forms of energy in the world today. These natural fat sources create ketones that generate thermogenic effects for your body.

The majority of oils come in three sizes of fatty acid chains: short, medium, and long. Medium chain fatty acids typically contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains. These oils are composed of fatty acids naturally contained within coconut and palm oils. However, coconut and palm oils also include longer chain triglycerides that aren’t considered to be as healthy because the molecules are often stored as fat because they take longer for your system to metabolize.

Most of us are familiar with thinking about saturated fats as forbidden foods. However, their bad rap isn’t entirely earned because saturated fats like MCTs have incredible benefits for your health. Thanks to how quickly they can be digested, MCT oils are almost immediately metabolized into energy.

Longer chain fats like butter, beef fat, olive oil, and unprocessed forms of palm oil and coconut oil are burned more slowly and typically stored as fat instead. For this reason, most MCT products in stores are purified extractions of one or both of these oils, ensuring that they contain only MCTs.

Thanks to its energy-boosting abilities, MCT oil is most typically used by those who want to lose weight or improve their athletic performance.

How MCTs Work

In many ways, MCTs act like carbohydrates because they provide with a quick energy source. Unlike carbs though, MCTs won’t raise your blood sugar or increase insulin levels.

The mitochondria might not get much attention, but this small cell part is responsible for producing all the energy needed for your tissues to function. MCTs are one of the most efficient ways to fuel the mitochondria because they can quickly cross through the double mitochondrial membrane without L-carnitine, an enzyme necessary for LCT absorption.

This process produces acetyl-coA, which breaks down into ketones within your body.

About Ketones

Your body fuels itself with two primary energy sources: glucose and ketones. Glucose comes from sugars, starches, and proteins that are metabolically processed into blood sugar. Most people predominately burn this fuel type because of how common carbs are in their diet.

In contrast, ketones are substances produced by the liver when it breaks down fat, and they are uniquely suited to fueling the brain. You are more likely to rely on ketones if you fast, go on a low-carb diet, or follow a moderate protein, high-fat diet.

The body can make ketones from its stored fat or from digesting MCTs, which is why this oil chain is considered so valuable.

Dietary Fat and Your Health

If you follow a standard western diet, you probably aren’t getting an adequate amount of MCTs in your diet. This is because health nutritionists have long lead the public to believe that saturated fats should be avoided. However, recent research continues to reveal that these fats are far healthier than previously thought. Today, many nutritionists believe that saturated fats have benefits for your heart, brain, and waistline, especially if you eat them daily.

These substances both stabilize blood pressure and enhance your body’s energy production capabilities, making them a proven way to improve your metabolism, enhance cognitive function, and reduce inflammation.

Natural Sources of MCTs

Coconut oil and palm oil contain some of the best natural sources of MCTs, but you can find small amounts of this critical compound in a variety of foods, including goat’s milk, grass-fed butter or yogurt, and ghee.

Roughly 65 percent of the fats in coconut oil are MCTs, including concentrated caprylic, capric, lauric, and caproic acid with all the longer chain fatty acids removed.

Caproic Acid: As the smallest chain of MCT with just six carbon chains, caproic acid is only found in trace amounts of most food. This is a good thing, as too much can lead to digestive problems.

Caprylic Acid: Found in a 6% concentration is coconut oil, caprylic acid has 8 carbon chains and contains the most potent anti-microbial properties of MCTs.

Capric Acid: This 10-carbon chain MCT has potent anti-inflammatory properties and provides quick energy for cell mitochondria.

Lauric Acid: Making up roughly 50% of coconut oil fatty acids, lauric acid behaves similar to long-chain fatty acids and requires liver bile to be metabolized efficiently. Research shows that it acts as an anti-microbial, though capric and caprylic acid are more effective.

One fundamental difference between the functionality of coconut oil and concentrated MCT oil is that MCT oil has proportionally less lauric acid. This is because some of the compound are extracted out with MCT oils.

5 Things You Need to Know About MCT Oil

High-quality MCT oil has many unique features that are worth knowing about before you decide to use the compound for cooking or other uses.

  • No Taste: Because all flavors and scents are removed from MCT during processing, the oil is entirely tasteless.
  • Liquid at Room Temperature: Unlike the oils it is derived from, MCT oil has a lower smoking point than coconut oil and will be liquid at room temperature.
  • Easy to Absorb: High-quality MCT oils can be quickly converted into energy in your body, but cheaper generic brands are often blended with other fats to cut costs, making them less useful for absorption.
  • Highly Soluble: The size of the carbon molecules in MCT oil increases their solubility in water and fluids like blood.
  • Processed Efficiently: MCTs reach the liver quickly because they don’t have to go through peripheral tissues as LCTs do. Likewise, the medium chain acids don’t need to be broken down before your body can absorb them.

7 Uses of MCT Oil

Knowing that MCT oil is beneficial for your health and understanding the best way to take it are different matters. What are the best ways to take this clear, flavorless liquid? Here are things you need to know about MCT oil to ensure you’re using it right.

Thanks to its lack of flavor, MCT oil is impressively versatile in a variety of dishes, including the following.

  • Cooking Oil: Concentrated MCT oil is excellent for cooking because it has a high smoke point and doesn’t add unwanted coconut flavor to the meal.
  • Salad Dressing: Combine a tablespoon of MCT oil with herbs and vinegar for an extra healthy afternoon salad.
  • Homemade Mayonnaise: Mix a tablespoon of MCT oil into your favorite mayonnaise recipe, and you won’t notice any difference in the overall taste or texture.
  • Coffee & Tea: If you want to give your brain a boost first thing in the morning, add a teaspoon of MCT oil to your daily source of caffeine.
  • Baked Goods: You can use MCT oil as a coconut oil substitute in baking recipes to boost the ketone production potential.
  • Smoothies: For smoothie fans who want to stay full longer, you can add 2 tbsps. of MCT oil into the mix to curb hunger throughout the day.
  • Straight off the Spoon: There’s no need to dress MCT oil up if you merely want to take it as a supplement for its health benefits. It’s best to start slowly with half a teaspoon a day and work your way up to one tablespoon over time.

Beyond consumption, there are plenty of other ways to take in the benefits of MCT oil. You can use the oil however coconut oil can be used, meaning that it can be a stellar ingredient in homemade lip balms, shaving creams, teeth whitening treatments, facial masks, and more.

Buying MCT Oil

Because commercially available MCT oils are often made from blends of both coconut and palm oils, they qualify as proprietary blends, meaning that the company doesn’t need to disclose the exact ratio of fats it contains. This makes it difficult to know precisely what MCTs are within your oil, and the proportions can vary considerably between brands. For this reason, the best strategy for you might be to experiment with several oil brands and try small samples until you find one that your body responds well to.

Using MCT Oil for Health and Wellness

Don’t worry about believing the hype about MCT oil- this product really does have the potential to make a difference in your health and energy levels.

To get the best benefits for your body, seek out ways to add some MCT fatty acids to your diet each day. Whether that’s from adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your morning coffee or taking a teaspoon of concentrated MCT oil straight from the bottle, your brain will appreciate the quick, high-quality energy supply.

This article is not my own but from
https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/things-you-need-to-know-about-mct-oil?utm_campaign=SmartBug%202016&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=62781268&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9Dm6YVqd7BfgW7vo-GIp9d7G4S1oGJ1bQVLD38xv9WGDVAb4PqVE6Kh2aYStrSJ3L4gVLzd1akKEuKT1X19YXztZHD6g&_hsmi=62781268

Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

A question was asked yesterday by a man with atrial fibrillation, if he could take fish oil while he is on blood thinners.  My response was “yes” but with caution.

From Livestrong:  Fish oil does thin the blood in similar ways to blood thinners, notes leading health and medical writer Jack Challem in his book, “The Inflammation Syndrome.” This effect happens through the prevention of the platelets found in blood from sticking together and forming clots. Challem adds that the blood-thinning effects may be magnified if you are taking natural blood-thinners, such as vitamin E or gingko. Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor if you are taking fish oil.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/467353-can-you-take-fish-oil-with-blood-thinners/

From Heart MD:  Modest amounts of fish oil, say 1–2 grams daily, generally can be tolerated even if you are taking prescription blood thinners. However, doing this is not without some risk—so it’s absolutely essential that you be up front with your doctor about the fish oil products you’re taking and how much, to avoid unsafe drug interactions. I cannot emphasize this enough. You must work collaboratively with your physician and regularly monitor the clotting agents in your blood.

Is It Safe to Mix Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

Can You Take Fish Oil With Blood Thinners?

Flax Seeds for Hot Flashes

Yesterday in the store it was a typical scenario; a woman experiencing hot flashes walked up to the women’s section and browsed all the supplements for menopause.   Then she asked me “What is good for hot flashes?  I sweat when it’s hot.”

I replied most people do, but after a bit more dialogue we got right to the main issue.  She is 64 and has been sweating like this since she was 50.

I asked her if she knew what her hormone levels were and she said she did not.

I thought she needed to put the supplements down since she did not know if her irregular temperature was due to insufficient or elevated progesterone, insufficient or elevated estrogen, insufficient or elevated DHEA, cortisol, TSH, etc.   A saliva test by a qualified health professional can determine this though insurance does not cover it.  Generally it is $125 to $200.

I believe that if you don’t know what is causing hot flashes, start with food first.  It is often more helpful and is cheaper than experimenting with pricey supplements for menopause control (although many are very beneficial when you know what hormone you are supporting).

When you think of inflammation, think “heat”.  When you think of hot flashes, think “the body is trying to cool the heat”.    When you think of foods to cool the body, think “Omega 3s”, such as salmon or fish oil and flax seed or flax seed oil.

Start with flax seed and grind what you need when ready for use.   Use only 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed daily as it may cause bloating.   Flax seed contains omega 3 fatty acids.    These omega 3’s “put out the fire”

At the store, we sell whole flax seed for $1.99 for 13 ounces.   Start there.  You might even find your cholesterol levels have improved.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/284290-flaxseed-flaxseed-oil-for-hot-flashes/

 

Cayenne Tea – Excellent Wellness and Anti-Flu Support

CayenneArticleMeme

You don’t have the flu but it’s out there.  You can’t avoid being in public so you want to protect your immune system as much as possible, but you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

Try Cayenne Tea.  I’m having some this morning.  It’s an inexpensive, warming spice and a blood mover,  so it gets YOU moving as well.  Just 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne is enough to do the trick.  Sip an 8-ounce cup a few times a day.

Recipe:
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
8 ounces hot, boiling water

Enjoy!

cayenne tea

Protandim – Anti-aging Breakthrough

 

I have never been one for any supplements using the words “breakthrough” or “miracle” however when I went searching the web in September, to find a product I could really get on board with – being an herbalist and leaning towards natural supplements – I was quite intrigued with this one.

I went to the website – Lifevantage.com – and found that I can only purchase if I am introduced by a rep.  However, I checked out the ingredients and saw that they are all natural, all herbal and they are a patented formula that is capable of reaching the mitochondria via the NRF2 pathways.

You might not know what that means, but I did.  Nutrition reaching the cellular level has been the goal of almost all supplement manufacturers.

Read about NRF2 here.

I was getting excited about what this could mean for me –   especially since I had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome – a complicated disorder with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in my body – my CRP (C-Reactive Protein) levels were at 11.2 (should be at .05 for function) – and my energy was limited to 10 minutes per half hour.

I needed to know more so I called the company to ask how I can be introduced to a rep, and talk to me more about this.   A representative called me and I was quickly put in touch with a doctor.  I asked him how this could help me have energy.  He led me to several studies that had been done and were published on PubMed, on Oxidative Stress, as well as the youtube video above (and there are many other videos as well.)

More studies can be found on Pubmed.  One such study may be found here but please feel free to look it up using key words such as Protandim and Oxidative stress.

I decided to try it.  Within 1 week I began to get some energy back and today I am taking this product for over 3 months.  I am not sleeping during the day and have been able to get back to work in the health food store (before this, I was not).

If you want to know more about Protandim, please send me a message.  I’d love to share it with you.  In the meantime take a look at this Product Information sheet. You will see its patent and the herbs used, which are formulated in a proper ratio to each other, that make it possible to reach the mitochondria and nourish the cells.

Darlene

Keto (High-Fat, Low-Carb) Thin Mint Bark

This, by far, has got to be my best keto treat yet.  And it is so easy to make!

IMG_0367

2 Heaping Tablespoons Extra Virgin, Cold-Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Scoop (about 2 Heaping Tablespoons) Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (Pea Protein, Egg-White Protein or other Protein Powder of your choice is also good but I like the vanilla or you may choose chocolate)
1-2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (dark)
2 Tablespoons Grade B Pure Maple Syrup (Grade B is more expensive but has high nutritive value.  Grade A is good for taste alone, but I want to make sure that whatever I do is high in nutrition.)
1 capful Chocolate Peppermint Extract
Crushed Walnuts
Chia Seed
Sunflower Seeds (unsalted)
Himalayah Salt

Let the coconut oil sit at room temperature until soft.  If it is not soft and you don’t mind using a microwave for 10 seconds, that is fine as well.

Add the next four ingredients to the coconut oil and blend well, using a spoon, until it forms a thick paste.

Spread the mixture onto a paper plate (or flat plate with parchment paper) until thinly spread to cover as much area as you can, being careful to not spread so thinly you can see the plate. IMG_0365

Sprinkle with walnuts, chia seed, sunflower seeds and salt to lightly cover.  There is no set amount but a guideline might be a tablespoon for nuts and seeds and 1/2 teaspoon for the salt.

Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and cut like a tic-tac-toe board.

Enjoy!