Supplements & Products

C8 MCT Oil and Brain Health (A Look at the Science)

C8 MCT Oil and Brain Health (A Look at the Science)

Want to boost your brain health?  Maybe you suffer poor memory, migraines, ADHD, depression, or another neurological problem that stifles optimal brain function.  While conventional medicine addresses many of these issues with great success, there's also a supplement trending on the market and that research shows is quite promising – C8 MCT Oil.
C8 MCT Oil is particularly popular in the keto community, due to its ability to quickly raise ketones. However, you can still take it even if you're not on a keto diet. A few of its many benefits include appetite support, weight loss, and increased energy.  However, improved brain health seems to be the most prominent perk.
Read on to learn how it works, and whats science says about its impact on brain health. We’ll also tell you how to take C8 MCT Oil to boost brain health and what you can take as an alternative.

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What Is C8 MCT Oil?

How is MCT Oil Made?

How Does MCT Oil Boost Brain Health?

Ketones – the brain's preferred fuel source

More ketones equals more brain cell mitochondria

Ketones are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents

MCTs are a direct source of energy to the brain

How Are MCTs Digested?

Reasons C8 MCT Oil is the Ultimate Brain Oil

Brain Benefits of C8 MCT Oil

MCTs Improve Brain Health

MCTs Address Neurological Conditions

MCTs Increase Mental Energy

How to Take C8 MCT Oil for Brain Health

What Else Can I Use Instead of Brain Oil?

Conclusion

References

What Is C8 MCT Oil?

bowl-and-bottle-of-coconut-oil-with-coconut-on-wooden-table

To help you understand what C8 MCT Oil is, let's start with the terminology.

MCT is short for medium-chain triglyceride. A triglyceride is a type of fat with a glycerol backbone and three fatty acid chains. In the case of MCTs, at least two of these chains are of medium length, thus the "medium" in MCT.

C8 here represents the exact number of carbon atoms in the fatty acid chains. The shorter the carbon chain, the easier it is for your body to digest and absorb it.

That said, C8 MCT Oil is a purified and concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides. Doctors recommend this oil alongside medication to treat fat indigestion, diarrhea, gallbladder disorders, and Alzheimer's [1]. However, this product is also available as a supplement offering a plethora of brain benefits that research is just beginning to unravel.

How is MCT Oil Made?

Manufacturers extract MCT oil from two of its best sources: coconut and palm kernel oil since these contain up to 70% MCTs.

MCT oil is made through a process called fractionation, which involves extracting and isolating the MCTs from coconut and palm kernel oils. This process yields four different types of MCTs, namely:.

  • Caproic acid (C6)
  • Caprylic Acid (C8)
  • Capric Acid (C10)
  • Lauric Acid (C12)

Not all of these MCTs are beneficial or even useful. Caproic acid, for example, has an unpleasant taste, causes stomach upset, and there's really not enough of it to make it useful. Lauric acid has the longest carbon chain, being just one carbon atom away from becoming a long-chain fatty acid. This means that it's much harder for your body to absorb lauric acid compared to other MCTs [2].

But C10 and C8 are a completely different story. These two are virtually flavorless and easy to digest. Besides that, most studies done on MCTs have focused on C8 and C10 due to their efficiency. And while C10 works perfectly well, it's C8 MCT oil that stands out as being THE best MCT oil you could get your hands on, especially when it comes to brain health.

How Does MCT Oil Boost Brain Health?

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C8 MCT oil indirectly boosts brain health and functioning mainly by supporting ketone production. However, the MCTs in this oil also have a direct effect on the brain. Below are some science-backed ways in which ketones and MCT oil boost brain health and functioning.  

1. Ketones – the brain's preferred fuel source

Studies show that ketones are the brain's preferred fuel and not glucose [3]. Ketones are also more efficient as a fuel, providing greater energy per unit of oxygen than glucose. The less oxygen your brain uses, the less oxidative stress and neuron damage your brain endures.

2. More ketones equals more brain cell mitochondria

Research shows that ketones increase the size and number of mitochondria in brain cells [4]. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells. Your brain health depends a lot on their number and functioning.

3. Ketones are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents

There is ample evidence that ketone body metabolism reduces oxidative stress in the brain [5]. There is also evidence that keto diets stimulate the expression of antioxidant proteins in the body [6].

4. MCTs are a direct source of energy to the brain

Unlike LFAs, MCTs are able to cross the blood–brain barrier. Once they reach the brain, they function as an alternative energy source for neurons and astrocytes.

How Are MCTs Digested?

man-hand-on-stomach-good-digestion

Your body digests and absorbs MCTs completely differently from long-chain fatty acids (LFAs) and here’s how.

  • MCTs don't require digestive enzymes and bile. Instead, they get absorbed via the portal vein and go directly to the liver where they are rapidly oxidized to be converted into ketones. However, a portion of these MCTs can also be released into the circulatory system to be used as energy in the brain and other tissue.
  • In contrast to MCTs, LFAs are absorbed mainly via the lymphatic system and circulate the blood before they get metabolized. Your brain cannot use LFA for energy because they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • MCTs do not need carnitine in order to access mitochondria, which also makes them a super fuel.
  • Another thing worth noting is that ketone uptake in the brain is directly proportional to their blood concentration. That means that your brain will take up ketones even if your blood glucose concentrations are high enough to fuel the brain.

Reasons C8 MCT Oil is the Ultimate Brain Oil

C8 MCT oil is also called brain oil, and even rocket fuel for the brain, for good reason. Its short fatty acid chain is what enables it to stimulate ketone production within just a couple of minutes. This often results in almost instant mental clarity, something you probably never experienced before.

But before you go on thinking this is all hogwash, consider the following evidence.

  • C8 beats all other sources of MCTs

One study published in 2017 compared the effects of different oils in healthy adults and found that C8 MCT increased blood ketones more than any other oil [7]. In case you were wondering, the other oils included coconut oil, a coconut oil and MCT mix, and classical MCT oil. The study concluded that C8 MCT was the most ketogenic.

  • C8 MCT oil always leads to more ketones

Earlier we mentioned a study saying that ketones boost antioxidant activity in the brain [6]. That same study found that C8 MCT undergoes something called β-oxidation in astrocytes quicker than C10 and that it readily produces ketones. Besides that, this study found that C10 stimulates glycolysis and leads to the production of lactate as fuel for brain cells.

  • C8 proven to boost cognitive functioning

One study review states that most research examining C8 as a potential remedy for Alzheimer's seem promising [8]. When people with early Alzheimer's took this supplement, they scored higher on cognitive tests than before they took the supplement. This fact serves as evidence that C8 is a powerful fuel even for a brain that's severely impaired.

And if that isn't convincing enough, you can check out testimonials from ketoers who supplemented their diet with this product. Many are, in fact, surprised by the effectiveness of this oil to boost mental acuity and energy almost instantly.

Brain Benefits of C8 MCT Oil

You're probably wondering what exactly taking brain oil will do for your brain health and functioning. Below are some of the proven benefits associated with MCT oil and especially C8 oil.

MCTs Improve Brain Health

As already explained, the proof for this particular effect of C8 MCT oil comes from studies on people with Alzheimer's. These studies noted an improvement in overall cognitive functioning in these patients suggesting that MCT oil can be used as therapy for Alzheimer's, age-related cognitive decline, type 1 diabetes [9], and other conditions where the brain cannot rely on glucose for fuel.

However, even healthy brains can benefit from brain oil. If you're looking for effective cognitive enhancers or nootropics, then this product is for you.

MCTs Address Neurological Conditions

There are not many studies examining MCT oil and its effects on psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder [10]. However, there are plenty of studies that examined keto diets as treatment for these disorders and the results were promising. The same was true for brain disorders like ADHD and ASL.

While it isn't clear just how keto diets and ketones help with neurological conditions, researchers believe that ketones decrease neuronal excitability through their effects on an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA.

MCTs Increase Mental Energy

When used as a supplement, MCT oil can help you focus more and it improves your memory. It can also improve your overall mental energy and enhance mental acuity. You will notice this effect almost instantly and every time you take MCT oil and especially if you take C8 oil.

How to Take C8 MCT Oil for Brain Health

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MCT supplements come in pill, powder, and oil form. All work equally well, and the type you should take depends on your personal preferences. MCT pills (softgels) are best if you travel frequently and are on a busy schedule. Powders are great to incorporate MCTs in any kind of meal while MCT oil is the traditional product that you can put in your coffee, salads, muffins, and other keto meals.

Whatever product you choose, make sure it is pure C8 MCTs as this one has the strongest effects on mental functioning and brain health. It's important that you stick to the recommended daily limits with this supplement as it can cause digestive upset at larger doses. The usual recommended limit is 2-3 servings a day with one serving being approximately 1 tablespoon of pure MCT oil.

The time of day doesn't really matter that much. You can take it in the morning, afternoon, or evening and it will work well in all cases. Plan your intake around the time that you most need it. For example, if you need to have mental energy early in the morning, add C8 MCT oil to your morning coffee. If you need a mental boost during a midday slump, then take MCT then.

What Else Can I Use Instead of Brain Oil?

C8 MCT oil tends to be quite expensive, especially when you go for the high-quality stuff. The process of extracting and purifying MCTs from its natural sources is laborious and requires a lot of raw material. That's why many dieters look into alternative source of MCTs instead.

A good alternative is virgin coconut oil which is made up of around 55% MCTs. Keep in mind, though, that you will not experience the same cognitive benefits you would if you were taking brain oil. The concentration of C8 MCTs in coconut oil is only 6%, and the majority of MCTs in coconut oil are in the forum of lauric acid.

If you're really looking to boost cognitive performance, you can simply raise your ketone levels naturally with a ketogenic diet. You can also consider other natural nootropics like our Keto Focus – Brain & Memory Support capsules. This product contains a combination of nutrients and herbs that were proven to support mental health and functioning.

Conclusion

C8 MCT oil, aka brain oil or brain fuel, is a special type of product that can help boost ketone levels in your brain. You can take it alongside a ketogenic diet but you can experience many of its purported benefits even if you're on a regular diet.

Some of the promises of taking brain oil include increased focus and memory, improved cognitive functioning, better mood, reduced anxiety, and support for neurological conditions like ADHD and Alzheimer's. While this product isn't a cure for serious neurological problems, it can address many symptoms associated with poor brain functioning.

If you’re seriously considering adding C8 MCTs to your keto diet, then make sure you’re going for high-quality products. That way, you’ll know that what you’re taking is pure MCTs, without fillers and other unnecessary ingredients.

References

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892314/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4937039/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30027365
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2857668/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981249/#B32-antioxidants-07-00063
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5998344/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202787/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671041/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357645/

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