In the Undoctored book and Undoctored Inner Circle website (for truly serious Undoctored followers), we take health to the next level by introducing unique, cutting-edge health concepts that build on the lessons learned through the worldwide Wheat Belly experience.
Something I have been discussing quite a bit lately in Undoctored Inner Circle Virtual Meetups is medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, useful for some interesting effects that can add to your Undoctored experience.
MCTs are, briefly, a form of fat that have an intermediate (“medium”) chain of carbons in their structure: 6, 8, or 10, rather than the 20 or more, for example, in the EPA and DHA of fish oil, the 18 carbons in the oleic acid of olive oil, or the 4 carbons (“short” chain) of butyrate produced by microbial species in human bowel flora. MCTs are metabolized differently than other fats, however, as they are not “packaged” into chylomicrons after absorption, but are absorbed directly (into the portal circulation), then metabolized into ketones by the liver. Modest rises in blood ketones therefore result after ingesting MCTs, similar to the rise obtained with a ketogenic diet or taking exogenous ketones. (For anyone fingerstick testing ketones, blood levels of 0.2-0.4 mmol/L are typical after ingesting 20 grams MCTs.)
Among the useful effects of MCTs is appetite suppression, as I discuss in this video. Take 10 or more grams of MCTs and appetite is suppressed for about 4 hours. For this reason, I call using MCTs to facilitate fasting “assisted fasting” with MCTs. There may also be modest weight loss benefits, as well as reduction in visceral (inflammatory) fat and reduction in insulin resistance.
MCTs as oil can be used just as any other food oil: added to foods, baking, salad dressing, etc. You can take it directly by the spoonful, but many people find the oily consistency unpleasant.
But now there are products that are MCT oil powders, i.e., the oil reduced to powder form. Interestingly, MCT oil powders make a terrific creamer for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate—better, I believe, than full-fat cream, as it yields a rich, smooth creamy texture with great mouthfeel and taste. Add a few drops of liquid stevia or a bit of the natural sweeteners in Virtue Sweetener, and I find myself enjoying coffee more than I have in a long time. And my 2 cups of coffee in the morning (total 20 grams MCTs) are followed by complete absence of appetite until around noon, as well as heightened mental clarity, focus, and curious dissolution of the proscrastination impulse characteristic of higher blood ketone levels.
Some MCT oil powders on the market, however, tend to have undesirable ingredients, such as lecithin, maltodextrin, or corn fiber. Recall, for instance, that we minimize exposure to emulsifying agents like lecithin because they emulsify the mucous lining of the intestinal tract and thereby add to inflammation and disruptions of bowel flora.
The two best MCT oil powder products with the cleanest ingredient lists are:
One serving (scoop) provides 9 grams of MCTs, but also provides 4.5 grams of prebiotic fiber from acacia. While this is great and supplements prebiotic fiber intake, people who are just starting out in re-cultivating bowel flora and/or have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) will need to avoid this product or never use more than one or two servings in a day, else chancing abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and other reactions. (See the Undoctored Inner Circle for extensive discussions about these issues, including how to identify and correct SIBO. Also, see this video for the tell-tale reaction to prebiotic fibers in people with SIBO.)
Each serving (scoop) of this product provides 10 grams of MCTs with no other ingredients. However, it is also among the most costly by a considerable margin.
Wheat-Free Market, the food company that I advise on product development, is also going to be releasing a coffee creamer product that combines MCT oil powder (containing no undesirable ingredients) combined with collagen hydrolysates that have been shown in clinical studies to smooth skin/reduce wrinkles and reduce joint pain from arthritis by rebuilding cartilage–yes: coffee creamer that increases mental focus, helps turn off appetite, while turning back the clock, oh, a few decades. And perhaps make you stop procrastinating to fix that fix that squeaky door, leaky faucet, or calling your mom.