Best MCT Oil for Ketosis (Review & Buyers Guide)

I went out looking for the highest rated & most recommended options to compare.

Here is a list of recommended MCT oils to help you raise your ketone levels on a ketogenic diet.

Top Rated MCT Oils for Ketosis

1. Onnit MCT Oil

The Onnit MCT oil range is a great option when looking to go keto.

Onnit is a fitness-focused company that was created in 2010 and has since become a multimillion dollar establishment. Their premier product, Alpha BRAIN, is a supplement that supports memory and focus. Aside from MCT oil, they sell a variety of performance, sleep and nutrition supplements as well as snacks, protein powder, coffee and tea. Their mission is to help people achieve what they call Total Human Optimization. (Onnit coupon codes here)

Specs
  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories per serving: 125
  • Bottle sizes available: 24-ounce
  • Total MCT content: 13.7 grams
  • MCT composition: caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Contains lauric acid, which is thought to be particularly good for gut health due to its antibacterial properties
  • Is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan
  • Does not contain palm oil
  • Calorie content is relatively low
  • Only one bottle size available
  • Some reviews mentioned the digestive trouble side-effect from MCT oil

2. Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil

The Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil is a pure C8 oil to get help raise your ketones high and fast.

Most might just think of Bulletproof coffee when thinking of the brand. However, they sell numerous coffee, tea & food products. The company even has several coffee shops located on the US west coast. In addition to coffee, they sell protein (like collagen & collagelatin) and other supplements (like unfair advantage), including MCT oil they call XCT oil. Their product line is even more wide-ranged, including vibration plates, biohacking supplements, books, accessories and clothing. (Bulletproof coupon codes here)

Specs
  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories per serving: 130
  • Bottle sizes available: 3-ounce, 16-ounce, 32-ounce
  • Total MCT content: 14 grams
  • MCT composition: caprylic acid

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • There are a variety of bottle sizes available
  • The 3-ounce bottle can be purchased and tried before consumers commit to a larger size
  • The MCT content is higher than average
  • Made from 100% coconut oil and no palm kernel oil

3. Sports Research MCT Oil

The Sports Research MCT Oil on Amazon say they provide third party testing so you can view the certificate of analysis to do your due diligence. This is great for people who like to know their supplements, this food supplement, is being tested.

Sports Research makes supplements and oils for performance enhancement and general health. They also offer the Sweet Sweat line of workout enhancers and waist trimmers. Sports Research has a commitment to quality, and all of their products are GMP-certified. They also offer a database of recipes in which their products can be used. (ref)

Specs
  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories per serving: 125
  • Bottle sizes available: 16-ounce, 32-ounce
  • Total MCT content: 13.7 grams
  • MCT composition: caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Contains lauric acid, which is thought to be particularly good for gut health due to its antibacterial properties
  • There are two bottle sizes available
  • This product is vegan, non-GMO, keto-certified, GMP-certified and paleo-certified
  • Calorie content is relatively low
  • Does not contain palm oil
  • They have a huge database of recipes in which MCT oil can be used
  • According to some reviews, the bottle can leaky
  • Some customers have reported headaches and diarrhea

4. Left Coast Performance MCT Oil

The Left Coast Performance MCT Oil on Amazon says that they only use organic coconut oil and no palm kernel oil.

Left Coast Performance is a small company that markets MCT, keto and bone broth supplements. Their MCT oil is comprised of caprylic acid and capric acid. Their website contains a useful FAQ section on each product, but does not contain much else. (ref)

Specs
  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories per serving: 126
  • Bottle sizes available: 32-ounce
  • Total MCT content: 14 grams
  • MCT composition: caprylic acid and capric acid

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • This product is vegan and non-GMO
  • MCT content is higher than average
  • Calorie content is relatively low
  • Made in USA
  • Only one bottle size available which is the large 32-ounce
  • Some reviewers claim to have experienced a rancid taste and smell which may be from the low quality of the plastic bottle
  • Their website doesn’t contain a lot of detail about them

5. Viva Naturals MCT Oil

Viva Naturals has been around since 2011 offering organic foods, supplements, essential oils and beauty products. They have a commitment to quality and use their signature Viva Quality Checklist to ensure that quality. They are so confident in their products that they have a one-year money-back guarantee on every item. (ref)

Specs
  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories per serving: 140
  • Bottle sizes available: 32-ounce
  • Total MCT content: unavailable
  • MCT composition: unavailable

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • This product is third-party certified
  • It is paleo-friendly, gluten-free and vegan
  • The company is transparent and has a quality control process that is detailed on their website
  • They offer a money-back guarantee on all of their products
  • The MCT amount and makeup are unavailable, so consumers have no way of knowing exactly what the product contains unless they call the company directly
  • The calorie content is higher than average
  • Only one bottle size available which is the large 32-ounce

Buyers Guide Information

I know you were looking for what are the best options, but here is some more detail as to why we would use medium chain triglyceride oils on a ketogenic diet.

What is MCT Oil and What Does It Do?

MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are a type of healthy saturated fat not found in most foods. They are sometimes called Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA). MCT oil is designed to bypass the bloodstream and go straight to the liver where it is directly metabolized into ketones, which is one of the brain’s primary energy sources. It is often used by people who are on keto diets or in ketosis, but it can have benefits for those eating a normal diet as well. (ref)

Types of Medium Chain Fatty Acids Available

Different types of MCFAs are metabolized differently. The following is a list of the different types of MCFAs your MCT oil might contain. (ref)

  • Caproic acid or hexanoic acid (C6)
  • Caprylic acid or octanoic acid (C8)
  • Capric acid or decanoic acid (C10)
  • Lauric acid or dodecanoic acid (C12)

Most MCT oils are comprised of C8 and C10, but some also include C12. Lauric acid has been shown to have stronger antimicrobial properties than the other acids, but not all MCT oils include lauric acid.

MCT Oil in Food

Coconut oil is a good, healthy source of MCTs, but MCTs can also be found in palm oil and dairy products. Here is a breakdown of MCT composition in each type of food. (ref)

  • Coconut oil: 15%
  • Palm oil: 7.9%
  • Cheese: 7.3%
  • Butter: 6.8%
  • Milk: 6.9%
  • Yogurt: 6.6%

Coconut oil is thought to be the highest quality form of MCTs, since it contains a high ratio of MCTs and has a host of other health benefits. MCT oil is the purest form of MCTs since it is comprised 100% of MCTs. MCTs have also been shown to help with weight loss when used in cooking oil or as a dietary supplement. (ref)

MCT oil can be enjoyed many different ways. One popular way is stirred into coffee, but it can also be baked into desserts, mixed into salad dressings, used as a cooking oil, and added to smoothies or shakes. Of course, it can also be taken by itself. Since it is tasteless and odorless, it can go well in almost any food.

When to Use MCT Oil to Help Improve Ketones?

Since ketones are a primary source of fuel for your brain and body, there are numerous use cases for improving them. Higher ketones can help people with the following conditions.

  • Malabsorption conditions like Crohn’s Disease (ref)
  • People who have had their gallbladder removed(ref)
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Alzhiemier’s

MCTs have also been shown to aid in weight loss and metabolic efficiency.

Benefits of MCT Oil Supplements

MCT oil supplements can have other benefits aside from helping to treat or cope with health conditions.

Healthy individuals may see the following benefits. (ref)

  • Increased metabolism
  • Weight loss and/or management
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Better brain function
  • More energy

Is It Safe to Take MCT Oil?

MCTs are considered generally safe for most healthy people. An exception is those with high cholesterol, specifically high triglyceride levels, since MCT oil increases triglyceride levels.

Even if you are healthy, you may experience some side effects when taking MCT oil. One of the most common side effects is gastrointestinal discomfort, which can include the following symptoms.

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Belching
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Stomachache

To offset these potential side effects, start with a small dose of MCT oil and work up slowly to a larger dose. Also try taking the oil with food.

MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil

MCT oil is considered superior to coconut oil for ketogenic diet supplementation due to its higher concentration of caprylic acid and capric acid. While coconut oil by itself only contains about 15% MCFAs, MCT oil is comprised of up to 100% MCFAs. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two.

Coconut OilMCT Oil
2 grams of MCTsUp to 15 grams MCTs
Has antimicrobial propertiesMay or may not have antimicrobial properties
Has other health benefits asides from MCTsHas no other health benefits
Costs 45 to 60 cents per gram of MCTsCosts 2 to 3 cents per gram of MCTs

On the flipside, coconut oil has other properties that can have a wider range of health benefits. Which product you choose depends on what results you are looking for.

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