Many may have heard of claims against MCT (or medium-chain triglyceride) oils causing diarrhea. If one has had experience with MCT oils themselves, they likely know that this claim tends to be true. 

MCTs are triglycerides with fatty acids C6-C12. Capric and caprylic acids are most common in MCT oils – caprylic acid being known to cause diarrhea or an upset stomach.

Although displeasing, this side effect usually only lasts about two to three weeks. Read more on why MCT oils may cause an upset stomach or diarrhea, and how to decrease the likelihood of this continuing.

Why do MCT oils cause diarrhea?

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The human body does not naturally contain the enzymes to properly process MCT oils, and certain additives that are quite common in MCT products only worsen the issue. The body is used to LCT’s (long-chain triglycerides), which is more commonly found in the foods we eat.

Large amounts of MCT oil too quickly is simply seen by the body as an irritant or stressor, and therefore needs to be flushed out by the body. Amounts the body is not used to leads to side effects such as a stomach ache, diarrhea, bloating, and sometimes vomiting.

It is recommended to begin in smaller doses, starting at one teaspoon, to avoid as much stomach pain as possible.

What are MCTs specifically made up of?

There are four different types of medium-chain fatty acids commonly found. These include caproic acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, and lauric acid.

Caprylic acid is known to help the body get rid of bacteria, yeast, and other infections. Due to its detoxifying properties, it triggers an immune system response, which in turn may lead to diarrhea, bloating, and other stomach issues.

Caprylic acid is also one of the most prominent ingredients found in MCT oils and is truly good for the body, treating infections, increasing the burning of fat, and much more.

Capric acid is also one of the most common ingredients in MCT oils, and acts very similar to caprylic acid. Capric acid, though, is less known to directly cause diarrhea.

Why do people use MCT oils?

Diet. Nutrition. Vitamins. Healthy Eating, Lifestyle. Close Up Of Happy Smiling Woman Taking Pill With Cod Liver Oil Omega-3 And Holding A Glass Of Fresh Water In Morning. Vitamin D, E, A Fish Oil Capsules.

MCT oils are increasingly being used as a source of ketones. When taken as a supplement, these are known as “exogenous ketones.” Ketosis occurs when your body does not have enough glucose for energy, causing it to burns stored fats instead. This is a normal process that happens in the body, but supplements, certain diets, and more can encourage the process.

Essentially, the body metabolizes MCTs much more like carbohydrates than it does fats, meaning it can be used very quickly for energy due to the much smaller chain.

MCT oils are also known for stimulating better mental and physical performance. It is fairly common for athletes to use MCT oils for reasons such as better performance, increased burning of fat, and increased lean muscle mass.

Where does MCT oil come from?

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Although MCT is a manmade product, it is extracted from naturally occurring food sources such as coconut oil, meaning it can be consumed naturally, as well. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are both high in MCTs, and some foods such as milk and other dairy products also contain levels of MCTs.

Foods containing MCTs:

        • Coconut oil
        • Palm kernel oil
        • Butter
        • Cheese
        • Milk
        • Yogurt

What are tips for avoiding these side effects?

As mentioned previously, when introducing MCT oils into your diet, begin daily with lower amounts of MCT oil and work your way up. Recommended serving sizes tend to be one to three teaspoons, meaning begin with one teaspoon and slowly move towards three teaspoons.

Always take your MCT oils right before, during, or after a meal. Consumers and doctors alike can confirm this will greatly reduce the chances of a severely upset stomach. There are plenty of foods to consume that can include MCTs, though it’s recommended that one does not cook on high temperatures with MCT oils.

Lots of people talk of adding MCT oil to their coffee in the mornings, and while this is a great stimulant and shows benefits, coffee is a natural laxative with caffeine proving to increase these properties. That means that if you are experiencing stomach issues from the MCT oil, coffee will likely make it worse, so stear clear of this.

Try taking a digestive enzyme with lipase. Lipase can help ease digestion when it comes to fatty meals, or in this case, fatty acids in MCTs.

If you experience extreme gastrointestinal issues, or if the problem persists, consider switching to a higher quality brand, or perhaps try switching formulas. Formulas usually range from 100% capric acid, 100% caprylic acid, or a mixture of both.

If switching brands and formulas does not help the issue, considering stopping use as sometimes the body simply may not adapt well to MCTs. Incorporating amounts of naturally occurring MCTs could be a loophole around this. Possibly try the organic route through things such as coconut oil, which is sometimes up to 60% MCT oils. If you want to continue the use of MCT oils, think about consulting a doctor.

It is suggested that those with medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency do not consume caprylic acid. 

Should you use MCT oils?

The gastrointestinal side effects should not necessarily deter anyone from beginning the use of MCT oils. MCTs have proven to have great benefits on the mind and body, including an increased focus, physical performance, and burning of body fat. On top of that, it is often used for medical purposes such as managing Epilepsy, Autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

These side effects should subside after two to three weeks, but remember that every individual may react differently.

If you are prone to have frequent stomach issues such as bloating, cramping, vomiting, or diarrhea, consider consulting your doctor before incorporating MCT oils into your diet.

Those with MCAD deficiency should not consume MCT oils.

In conclusion:

        • Begin in small doses of MCT oil
        • Incorporate MCTs with a meal or take after eating
        • Avoid using with coffee
        • Take a digestive enzyme with lipase
        • Try other brands and formulas
        • Try MCT the natural way
        • Listen to your body – consult a doctor when need be

When you first hear about the term keto diet and how it works, you’ll most likely do a double-take and question the sense of it. It sounds too good to be true at first or perhaps too far fetched in the beginning. But once you understand some basic science behind it, you’ll agree that it might do the trick.

But what about keto diet safety? A keto diet is an extremely low carbohydrate and high fat intake diet along with a small portion of protein. How does it differ from Atkins, you say? By the portion of proteins. In Atkins, the protein portion is relatively larger as compared to the portion allowed in Keto.

How it works

How about before we pass a verdict, we explain some basic science and common practicality of this diet? Keto works by drastically reducing your carb intake to a bare minimum while just as dramatically increasing your fat intake.

This makes your body start burning up the fate instead of the sugars to provide you with the daily energy needed to power you through the day. While the theoretical concept is simple, things get slightly more complicated when put to the test.

Medical benefits of Keto

From what medical science has to say, this is quite a helpful lifestyle. It helps with cholesterol, fat-related diseases, and diabetes. We mean carbs are basically sugar, and if you have diabetes, then your body is having a hard time breaking down sugar. So less sugar to break down equals controlled diabetes.

As for cholesterol, hypertension, and heart-related issues, fat deposition is a significant contributor. When you’re eating a healthy fat diet, your body shifts to a constant fat-digesting metabolic process called ketosis, where it just strips down fat and efficiently burns it for energy.

The ketosis process also turns the fat deposited around your liver into ketones, which all in all are a great supply of energy for the brain. Thus Keto is advisable for patients with brain injuries or diseases as well.

For the weight loss brigade

But apart from the medical breakdown that we just summarized, the primary and basic reason why we all want to try the keto diet is to lose a few in all the right places. Eating and stuffing feel great, but it just adds to our problems when you put on a few and feel guilty.

So how safe is the keto diet, with all the high fat intake? Keto is a promising way to lose weight. What’s great is that is works for most and requires doing what we love doing — eating all that fatty food. This aspect may even make a few of us apprehensive.

It might be complicated

But what do I mean when I say that it works for most? Because that’s the general ratio here sadly. Many complain about Keto being a total hit or miss. Since Keto is a very natural way to dupe your body into choosing an alternate energy making method, it affects different people differently.

All factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, metabolic rate, underlying diseases, lifestyle choices, hormones, and type of food can affect the outcomes of the diet. Then there’s the issue of people not adhering to it long enough for their bodies to actually jump the ketosis bandwagon.

A few heads up

Compliance is the key. So is adhering to the diet plan. Even a small deviation from the allowed carb level can make the ketosis occur less effectively. Remember, carbs are your body’s favorite and easiest to break nutritions.

You’re depriving your body of sugars and forcing it to use your already stored fats to make it work. It’s almost like feeding a child green and healthy stuff despite the fact that they can have frozen food and quick to make stuff. But you care and want things to be healthy and safe.

General safety

So yes. Keto is quite very safe. It does not require any extra supplements. No one can dupe you into buying nutritional products to rev up your keto diet except for fat additives. No detox teas, none of those laxatives to make you lose a few pounds ‘within two weeks.’ Oh, how we despise those ads.

End word

Keto may not be for everybody out there, but it’s a great way of staying healthy and losing weight. But no one can claim that Keto will agree with everybody. Not a lot of people can mentally accept a high-fat diet. Nor can they stomach it.

Many complain about nausea, fatigue, and general irritability. The decrease in digestive fibers can lead to constipation, cramps, and upset gastric functions. The occurrence isn’t common, though. Drinking enough water and fluid intake is advised.

There are apps and devices for you to keep a check on whether your body has begun the ketosis process yet or not. It’s a great way to remain adherent to the diet.

The ketogenic diet high-fat, low carb eating plan and while there are some diet variations, this means a calories breakdown of 70-80% fat, 15-25%protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. Current health recommendations are 20-35% fat, 15-25% protein, and 45-65 carbs, this equating to intake of 20-50 grams of carbohydrate per day though some keto devotees aim to stay below 20 grams.

Is the keto diet healthy?

Developed in 1922 as a treatment for epilepsy, the keto diet has been life-changing for those patients. Triggering the body to use ketone bodies for fuel appears to influence neuron functioning and neurotransmitter activity which can reduce seizures episodes for many people with epilepsy. As a treatment, the keto diet is still routinely prescribed. But outside of epilepsy treatment, many professional have evaded recommendation for the keto diets. Below are other benefits of keto diets:

Benefits of Keto diet

1. Cancer

Based on the 2013 Europe journal of clinical review the growth of cancer cell is complex and with long term inflammation in the body as well as insulin and high glucose appear to play role in the development of cancer.  The studies of rat have primarily suggested that limiting carbs intake to less than 50 grams daily may vitally starve cancer cells of glucose.

2. Weight loss

While reducing calories is still a key component of any weight loss plan, the macronutrient breakdown makes a difference. The weight loss studies as shown that higher fat and lower carbs diets may lead to slightly greater weight loss and significantly greater long term loss when compared to low-fat diets.

3. Insulin resistance and diabetes

According to a group of 26 doctors and researcher from major universities and medical institutes a critical review of the current research in 2015 in Nutrition suggest that carbohydrate restriction should be the primary focus of diabetes prevention and management. They cited studies suggesting the biggest improvement in glycemic control and insulin usage happened in the most carb-restricted group 20% carbs allowing many to reduce or quit medications.

4. Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s diseases

Brain deterioration and diseases all have different etiologies but you may use higher fat, low carb diets like keto diet as a way to reduce risk or even treat. As demonstrated inpatient with patients with epilepsy, ketone bodies can influence neurotransmitter activity and neuron integrity. This is a newer area of research with limited studies and so far the results are vague but promising.

Dangers of the keto diet

1. The “keto flu”

A doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist estimate that about 25% of people who try a keto diet experience a lot of fatigue, vomit, gastrointestinal distress and lethargy. This happens because your body runs out of sugar to burn for energy and it starts using fat, “That transition alone is enough to make your body feel tired for a few days,” says Kristen Kizer RD, a nutritionist at Houston Methodist Medical Center. You may be able to minimize the effect of Keto flu by drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of sleep.

2. Reduced athletic performance

In a recent study in the Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, Weiss and his colleagues found that participants performed worse on running task and high-intensity cycling after four days on a keto diet, compared to those who spent four days on a high carb diet. “The body is in a more acidic state when it is in ketosis, which may limit its ability to perform at peak levels,” says Weiss.

3. Less muscle mass decreased the metabolism

Another consequence of keto-related weight changes can be a loss of muscle especially if you are eating more fat than protein.  You will lose weight but it might be a lot of muscle and because muscle burns more calories than fat that affect metabolism.

When a person goes off the keto diet a regains their original weight, it is often not in the same proportions. Instead of regaining lean muscle, you are likely to regain fat hence lasting effect on resting metabolic rate and on weight long term.

4. Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes

When done right, the keto diet includes a lot of lean source of animal protein and vegetables but it is not an excuse to eat bacon and eat butter although some people may try to do it.  That is why many health experts are concerned about people on the keto diet especially those who try it without the guidance of a nutritionist or doctor. Doctors say that high-fat diets like this one may raise cholesterol levels and some studies suggest that they increase the risk of diabetes.

5. Carb avoidance could lead to poor digestive health

It is recommended at least 25 grams of fiber per day which is a vital nutrient only food that contains carbohydrates. A high fiber diet is linked to a significantly lower risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, and some digestive diseases. Certain types of fiber also act as prebiotics, which serves as food for the beneficial gut bacteria that support anti-inflammation, immunity and mental health. Though fiber supplement is available, research shows that they don’t offer the same benefits as fiber derived from whole foods.

Conclusion

Keto diet can be tricky! It is highly recommended that you see your doctor before confirming the tolerance for the keto diet. Do not worry as it only takes a few blood tests.