MCT oil is made of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are a type of saturated fat. They are absorbed and metabolized differently than other types of fat, so they have potential benefits for weight loss and heart health.
MCT oil is also a natural remedy for seborrheic dermatitis due to its antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Most MCT oils don’t contain lauric acid and this is important because lauric acid can feed Malassezia, the type of yeast that plays a role in seborrheic dermatitis.
Let’s take a deep dive:
An overview of MCT oil and medium-chain triglycerides
MCT oil is a supplement that has become popular among the keto diet crowd and athletes. It’s made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are purified from other oils like coconut oil and palm kernel oil.
MCT oil usually contains caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), caproic acid (C6) and sometimes lauric acid (C12). Lauric acid is the black sheep of these MCTs as it is metabolized more like a long chain triglyceride (LCT) and doesn’t offer the same health benefits as the other MCTs.
MCT oil offers many benefits, including fat loss and increased energy. It can be used as an alternative to coconut oil. Ingested, it provides ketones instead of glucose for fuel (it doesn’t work if you’re not on a keto diet). The oil is also more easily digested than other types of fats. It has numerous health benefits when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
MCT oil has also been found to improve seborrheic dermatitis when applied on the skin and scalp.
You can take a deep dive with this article: Is MCT oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?
Or watch the video summary here:
Why is lauric acid bad for seborrheic dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes scaly, flaky patches on the scalp or face. SD is thought to be worsened by a fungus called Malassezia, which are permanent residents on everyone’s skin.
These yeast feed on long-chain fatty acids with a carbon chain length between 11-24. Lauric acid has 12 carbon atoms and Malassezia happily feeds on it.
That’s why coconut oil, olive oil and other plant oils can worsen SD when applied topically and also the reason why you need to make sure your MCT oil doesn’t contain lauric acid.
If you’re planning on ingesting MCT oil, swallowed lauric acid doesn’t worsen Malassezia on the skin so feel free to drink any MCT oil or even coconut oil.
Does MCT oil have antifungal properties?
There is some evidence that MCT oil may have antifungal properties. In a study on the effects of MCT oil on candida, it was found that MCTs are effective in inhibiting the growth of Candida. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. Also, candida is not the yeast you need to target in seborrheic dermatitis.
Even if MCT oil does not have strong antifungal properties, it still has other benefits which may make it worth considering. For example, MCT oil is light-weight and easily absorbed, making it an awesome face oil for those windy winter days.
MCT oil vs fractionated coconut oil
MCT oil and fractionated coconut oil both contain medium chain fatty acids. MCT oils is often fractionated coconut oil but can also be sourced from palm kernel oil and other sources. You could say all fractionated coconut oil are MCT oils but not all MCT oils are fractionated coconut oil.
The benefits of both MCT oil and fractionated coconut oil are similar.
To wrap up
Most MCT oil don’t contain lauric acid but it’s still best to read the ingredient list and make sure to buy from a reputable brand. An oil without lauric acid may be a better option for those with seborrheic dermatitis.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, Bulletproof MCT oil is a safe bet. This oil is from a well-known brand that only contains C8 and C10, 2 of the most-ketogenic oils from non-GMO coconuts. You even get an extra 20% off with my code MADAMEWELL20.