Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil: ConsumerLab’s Findings

Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil: ConsumerLab’s Findings

Hi, I’m Dr. Tod Cooperman, President and
Founder of, and I’m here to talk to you today about coconut oils —
both virgin coconut oils as well as refined, as well as MCT oils which are
basically further refined coconut oils. I’m going tell you about the differences. We recently tested all of these products and compared the amounts of medium chain triglycerides found in them, or MCTs, because these MCTs are in coconut oil
but you can basically make products that are really more focused on just the MCTs.
Now the MCTS are a type of triglyceride or fat. Fats are basically a glycerol
molecule attached to three fatty acids. These fatty acids vary in size. The ones
that are medium chain size are the MCTs and they are caprylic, capric, and lauric
acids. Lauric acid is the largest of the three, and some people feel that
it it acts a little bit more like a long-chain fatty acid than a medium
chain. What people believe about the medium chains is that they can be
converted a little faster into energy and less likely to become fat, and so
coconut oils and MCT oils are used in dieting, and they’ve been tried in a number of other conditions including Alzheimer’s disease,
fat wasting diseases, etc. The results are really mixed, I would say, in
terms of whether it really is effective or not. However, there’s a great amount of interest
in these products. We wanted to know how do they vary and differ and all this is
in our report online for our ConsumerLab subscribers at in our
coconut-MCT oil report. So i just want to tell you kind of our general
findings here. First, for the coconut oils, and these are the virgin coconut oils.
First, we found that you know there’s virgin and extra virgin: We really didn’t
see much of a difference in terms of the chemical composition between the extra
virgin and the virgin ,so you are probably just as well spending the same
amount on virgen as an extra version product —
it’s not necessary to spend more for extra virgin. We did find a lot of similarity
among all these products, although we found a huge variation in cost. You can
spend as little as just seven cents to get about 8 grams of MCTs from some
products or as much as $1.68 from other products, so you definitely can do
much better if you shop on the basis of cost and use our information to try
to help you make that determination. The next type that we looked at were the
refined coconut oils. As you can see here it’s a clear liquid. It also has kind of
a nice mild coconut smell. Obviously it’s not buttery like the virgin
coconut oils which have more of a semi- solid consistency. These are liquids. They
can all be used in cooking they have a smoke point that’s fairly low, so in
frying it’s probably not the best material to use, but you can use it in
baking these can be applied to the hair to the skin — they can be protective of
the skin of the skin, but what’s really different here is with the refined
coconut oils you are removing a lot of the lauric acid that is the
longest of the medium chain fatty acids so that you end up with a product that’s
about 85% of just the shorter medium chain triglycerides — caprylic and
capric acids — so you’re going from about two-thirds of the of the oil being
medium chain triglycerides in a regular virgin coconut oil, although most of that
is the lauric acid, to about 85% with just the two shorter chain fatty acids
caprylic and capric acids in the refined coconut oils. And then if you
want to take it a step further and you want to get rid of any kind of remaining
medium chain fatty acids as well as the longer chain
fatty acids, which you’ve mostly gotten rid of already with the refined,
is you go to the MCT oils and here this is where you see most
variation because they will either be mostly caprylic or a combination of
caprylic and capric acids. Bulletproof for example is is 100% caprylic acid.
Others are a mixture of the two. Again the cost will vary and range across
these. So that’s kind of a quick overview of how these products differ —
the medium chain triglyceride MCT products versus the amount of MCTs in
the refined and virgin coconut oils. Be aware these are all saturated fats: The
medium chain “MCTs” are a hundred percent saturated fat. There is concern
that that may raise your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. The American Heart
Association advises against consuming too much of the saturated fats even
including coconut oil. Others will argue that there really isn’t much evidence
showing a cardiovascular negative effect from from these MCT or coconut oils,
which also somewhat appears to be true. So it may raise your cholesterol, but
will it really hurt you overall? Not clear at the at this moment. If you have
any other questions, feel free to post them here where you see this video and
we encourage you to see the full report at where we’ve covered
this and many other types of healthy foods and dietary supplements. Thank you
very much.

11 comments on “Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil: ConsumerLab’s Findings

  1. Excellent report. This a great compliment to the extensive testing and reporting you have done on olive oils. I've been a subscriber/member of Consumer Lab for many years and I'm very pleased with your reports on supplements and foods. Thanks for providing a valuable service!

  2. I think Better Body Foods in Lindon UTAH sold at Wal-mart is snake oil , bottled in plastic, cheap bastards.They have a big B on the bottom of the bottle, in a heart. Is that BPA, and BPS free? It tastes like plastic. its claims 90% MCT's. I may be wrong.

  3. Thank you for your time in making this informative video regarding the different nutritional information of these types of Coconut Oil products. I was trying to compare if the MCT oil from that type of oil product is better than Olive oil, but I've realized that Olive oil is much better, healthier, and cheaper than those MCT oils.

  4. A lot about chains, but nothing seems to tell me whether there is any value to this stuff.
    Nor if it presents significant cardiac risk (coconut oil not highly recommended, as I recall). Its this, or the huckster's Miracle Spring Water.

  5. Always remember the daily dose limit:
    3 table spoons is OK. Like 3 spoons of sunflower seeds per day, which is a regular dose of seeds to eat on the daily basis. Could amount to a lot over the year.

  6. Most healthy people consuming MCT don't know it's a saturated fat. Excess MCT clearly raises LDL. Since MCT impact liver pretty quickly your best bet is to consume lot less than recommended and do your workout, adjust accordingly based on your energy levels. I recommend MCT 3 times a week, the days you work out for normal weight people. If you are doing MCT for weight loss you can ignore this message

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