C8 Medium Chain Triglycerides: Your Metabolism’s Best Friend!

C8 Medium Chain Triglycerides: Your Metabolism’s Best Friend!

What are MCTs?

Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fat that is primarily derived from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products. Unlike long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are the most common type of fat found in our diet, MCTs have a unique chemical structure that gives them several distinctive properties and potential health benefits.

Chemical Structure

Triglycerides are composed of a glycerol molecule attached to three fatty acids. The length of these fatty acid chains can vary:


  • Short-Chain Fatty Acids: Fewer than 6 carbon atoms.
  • Medium-Chain Fatty Acids: 6 to 12 carbon atoms.
  • Long-Chain Fatty Acids: More than 12 carbon atoms.

MCTs contain medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier for the body to break down and utilize compared to long-chain fatty acids. The most common medium-chain fatty acids found in MCTs are:

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

Why Do People Use MCTs?

Absorption and Metabolism

One of the key advantages of MCTs is their rapid absorption and metabolism. Unlike long-chain triglycerides, which require bile salts for digestion and are absorbed via the lymphatic system, MCTs are absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. This quick absorption allows MCTs to be rapidly converted into energy (ketones) in the liver, making them an efficient source of fuel for the body and brain.

Health Benefits

Weight Management: MCTs have been shown to increase the release of hormones that promote a feeling of fullness, which can help reduce overall calorie intake. Additionally, they may enhance fat burning and energy expenditure, aiding in weight loss and management.

The Hormones that MCTs help promote the production of are:

  • Peptide YY (PYY):
    • Function: PYY is a hormone released by the gut in response to food intake. It helps reduce appetite and food intake by slowing down gastric emptying and promoting a feeling of fullness.
    • MCTs Effect: Consumption of MCTs has been shown to increase the release of PYY, contributing to enhanced satiety and reduced overall calorie intake.


  • Leptin:
    • Function: Leptin is produced by fat cells and helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. It signals the brain to reduce appetite and increase energy expenditure when fat stores are sufficient.
    • MCTs Effect: MCTs can enhance leptin sensitivity, helping to improve the hormone's effectiveness in signaling satiety and regulating body weight.


  • Cholecystokinin (CCK):
    • Function: CCK is a hormone released by the small intestine in response to fat and protein intake. It stimulates the digestion of fat and protein and promotes a feeling of fullness by slowing gastric emptying.
    • MCTs Effect: MCTs can increase the release of CCK, which helps promote satiety and reduce subsequent food intake.


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1):
    • Function: GLP-1 is an incretin hormone that stimulates insulin secretion, inhibits glucagon release, slows gastric emptying, and promotes a feeling of fullness.
    • MCTs Effect: MCTs have been shown to enhance the release of GLP-1, aiding in appetite regulation and promoting satiety.


Energy and Endurance: Due to their quick conversion into energy, MCTs are popular among athletes and individuals seeking a quick and sustained energy boost. They are often used in endurance sports to improve performance and reduce fatigue.


Cognitive Function: MCTs can be converted into ketones, which serve as an alternative energy source for the brain. This has been associated with improved cognitive function and clarity, particularly in individuals on a ketogenic diet.


Heart Health: Some studies suggest that MCTs may help reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as excess body weight and inflammation. They may also help improve lipid profiles by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.


Gut Health: MCTs possess antimicrobial properties that can help balance gut microbiota and support digestive health. They are also easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides, which can be beneficial for individuals with digestive issues or malabsorption conditions.

Common Sources

The primary dietary sources of MCTs include:

  • Coconut Oil: One of the richest sources of MCTs, containing about 55% MCTs.
  • Palm Kernel Oil: Another good source of MCTs.
  • Dairy Products: Butter and cheese contain smaller amounts of MCTs.
  • MCT Oil: A concentrated source of MCTs, often used as a dietary supplement.Usage and Dosage
  • MCT Powder: 

MCTs can be easily incorporated into the diet through foods like coconut oil or MCT oil supplements. They can be added to smoothies, coffee, salad dressings, or used in cooking. It’s important to start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage to avoid digestive issues like diarrhea or stomach cramps.

What Makes C8 Special?

C8 MCT, also known as Caprylic Acid, is a specific type of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) that is composed of eight carbon atoms. It is one of the most efficient and powerful forms of MCTs, renowned for its quick absorption and conversion into energy. Here’s a closer look at what makes C8 MCT unique and beneficial.


Chemical Structure

C8 MCT refers to caprylic acid, a medium-chain fatty acid with the following structure:

  • Chain Length: 8 carbon atoms (hence the name C8).
  • Chemical Formula: C8H16O2.

C8 MCT is found in various natural sources, but it is most concentrated in:

  • Coconut Oil: Contains a mixture of MCTs, including caprylic acid.
  • Palm Kernel Oil: Another significant source of C8 MCT.
  • MCT Oil Supplements: Many MCT oils are specially formulated to have a higher concentration of C8 MCT for its superior benefits.
  • MCT Oil Powder:

Absorption and Metabolism

One of the standout features of C8 MCT is its rapid absorption and metabolism:

Quick Energy Source: C8 MCT is absorbed directly from the digestive tract into the bloodstream and transported to the liver, where it is quickly converted into ketones. These ketones can be used immediately as a source of energy for the brain and body.

Efficiency: C8 MCT is more efficient in ketone production compared to other MCTs, such as C10 (capric acid) and C12 (lauric acid), making it particularly effective for those following a ketogenic diet or looking for a quick energy boost.

Health Benefits

Enhanced Ketone Production: C8 MCT is known for its ability to produce ketones more rapidly and efficiently than other MCTs. This makes it highly beneficial for those on a ketogenic diet, as it helps maintain ketosis and provides a steady energy supply.

Improved Cognitive Function: The ketones produced from C8 MCT can cross the blood-brain barrier and serve as an alternative energy source for the brain, potentially improving mental clarity, focus, and cognitive function.

Increased Energy and Endurance: Athletes and active individuals often use C8 MCT to enhance performance and reduce fatigue. Its rapid conversion to energy can provide a quick and sustained energy boost.

Weight Management: C8 MCT can help with weight management by promoting feelings of fullness and increasing metabolic rate. It may also support fat burning and reduce fat storage.

Antimicrobial Properties: Caprylic acid has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties, which can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and support overall digestive health.


Why You Want a 70% C8 MCT Concentration 

 While each of the MCTs in MCT oil have benefit, most of the benefit will be coming from C8, especially if you are looking for a boost in ketone production. Caprylic acid (C8 aka octanoic acid), is just a component of MCT oil, much like MCT is one of the components of coconut oil. However, depending on the extraction process, some brands of MCT oil may have higher capric (C10), or lauric acid (C12) compared to caprylic (C8).


MCT Oil VS MCT Powder

 MCT oil and MCT powder both provide the benefits of medium-chain triglycerides, but they differ in form and application. MCT oil is a liquid form that's easily added to beverages and cooking, offering a quick and versatile energy source. MCT powder, on the other hand, is created by binding MCT oil to a carrier substance like fiber or protein, making it easier to mix into dry goods, and it's often gentler on the digestive system. 

Usage and Dosage

C8 MCT can be easily incorporated into the diet in various ways: 

MCT Oil or Powder: Often found in liquid form, MCT oil can be added to coffee, smoothies, salad dressings, and other foods.

Coconut Oil: Using coconut oil in cooking or baking can provide a source of C8 MCT, although it is less concentrated than pure MCT oil.

Capsules and Powders: Some supplements come in capsule or powder form for convenience.

When starting with C8 MCT, it is advisable to begin with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage to avoid digestive issues such as diarrhea or stomach cramps. A common starting dose is 1 teaspoon per day, gradually increasing to 1-2 tablespoons per day. MCT Powder however, generally does not cause this distress.

To sum things up, C8 MCT, also known as Caprylic Acid, stands out as an exceptional medium-chain triglyceride with numerous health benefits. Its unique chemical structure allows for rapid absorption and conversion into ketones, providing a quick and efficient energy source for both the brain and body. This makes it particularly beneficial for those on a ketogenic diet or anyone seeking enhanced mental clarity, lasting energy, and improved endurance.

Additionally, C8 MCT supports weight management by promoting satiety, boosting metabolic rate and increaing ketone production.  With its antimicrobial properties, it also contributes to gut health. Whether used in MCT oil, coconut oil, or supplement form, incorporating C8 MCT into your diet can offer a range of advantages for overall health and optimal performance.

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