Why Does MCT Oil Cause Diarrhea?

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil is a form of dietary supplement that has gained significant popularity over the years. The reason for this isn’t farfetched.

MCT oil consumption has been recorded to have a wide variety of benefits, including improving cognitive functionalities, weight loss, reducing inflammation, and increasing energy levels. It has also been tipped in treating special medical conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

This article explores all you need to know about MCT oil, including its benefits and side effects, and answers some of your questions.

What Are Medium-Chain Triglycerides?

Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCTs) are a kind of fatty acid that is commonly found and extracted from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and other dairy products like cheese and butter.

MCT oil, specially made in a lab, are essential fatty acids for people who cannot tolerate other kinds of oils. That’s because the oil contains 6 to 12 carbon atoms in length. This makes it easier for the liver to break it down into bits rather than being processed as fats in the body.

MCT has been notable for a wide range of benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cognitive function. It has also been associated with aiding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease.

What Are Long-Chain Triglycerides?

Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs) are another kind of saturated fatty acid commonly found in many food items, including dairy products, meat, and vegetable oils.

LCTs are comprised of varying chains of fatty acids, which contains more than 12 carbon atoms in each chain. Unlike MCT oil, which is quickly absorbed by the body, LCTs require more time and energy to be metabolized.

It is essential to note that excessive consumption of LCT in a low carb diet can lead to weight gain and other health-related risks, especially if they’re consumed in high doses through processed foods.

You should consume a balanced diet that includes both MCTs and LCTs to maintain your overall health and well-being.

What is MCT Oil Used For?

MCT oil can be used for a wide range of purposes. They include:

  • Weight loss. MCT oil is believed to promote weight loss by increasing the feeling of fullness, thereby reducing calorie intake and improving fat burning.
  • Brain functions. MCT oil can be used to produce a keto diet called ketones. It provides a source of energy for the brain, improving cognitive functions. It is also known to reduce neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
  • Appetite control. Pure mct oil is proven to control appetite, as it generally gives the feeling of fullness.
  • Gut health. MCT oil is loaded with antimicrobial properties which promotes the development of beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby improving the digestive system.

What Are the Health Benefits of MCT Oil?

It is beneficial to add MCT oil to your dietary intake for the following reasons:

1. Better Brain and Memory Function

Ketones that is produced from MCT oil is proven to cross the blood-brain barrier, improving brain functions. It has also been proven to increase memory retention.

2. Energy Boost and Increase Endurance

Ketones are also believed to be a huge source of energy for the body. This makes MCT oil a preferred choice for athletes looking to increase their energy and endurance in their respective sports.

3. Weight Loss and Improved Weight Management

MCT oil has been shown to increase the feeling of fullness inside the body, thereby reducing your calorie intake. In the long run, this oil can improve your metabolism and fat burning, leading to weight loss.

4. Lowered Cholesterol

Some studies suggest that MCT oil increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, which is considered good and generally safe.

HDL is known to remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from the bloodstream.

5. Lowered Blood Sugar Levels

Studies also suggest that adding MCT oil to a meal can led to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. This is because MCTs improve insulin sensitivity and increase muscle glucose uptake, which acts as an alternative energy source for the body.

Are the Medium-Chain Fatty Acids in MCT Oil Extracted From Coconut Oil Long-Chain Fatty Acids?

The medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are found in MCT oils are not extracted from coconut oil long chain fatty acids. In fact, coconut oil is naturally sourced in MCFAs, including caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10).

It is essential to note that not all MCT oils are derived from coconut oil. MCT oils are also extracted from palm kernel oil but coconut-extracted MCT oil is the considered to be high-quality.

Why Does MCT Oil Cause Stomach Discomfort?

MCT oil can result in stomach cramps, especially when consumed in large doses or on am empty stomach. Some of the reasons why this could happen includes:

  • Rapid digestive process
  • Individual variability
  • Fat intolerance

It is recommended to start with small doses of MCT oil, to lower the risk of stomach pain.

What Are The Side Effects of Taking MCT Oil?

While MCT oil is considered safe for most people, it comes with potential side effects. They include:

1. Diarrhea

When consumed in large doses, MCT oil can cause your intestines to contract, leading to diarrhea. This is because the body rapidly absorbs it and large doses of it will cause stomach distress.

2. Vomiting

While this is not a common side effect, some people experience vomiting when consuming high doses of MCT oil. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider if you vomit after consuming it.

3. Stomach Discomfort

Some persons also experience stomach pain, bloating, or cramps after consuming MCT oil. It is recommended to start with small doses or consume it with food to reduce the risk of stomach discomfort.

4. Intestinal Gas

MCT oil can also cause flatulence and intestinal gas in some individuals. This is as a result of rapid fermentation and digestion of MCT in the gut, which may produce gas.


Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) is loaded with several potential health benefits, including weight management, cognitive function, lower cholesterol, and lower blood sugar levels.

However, when consumed in large doses, it could result in side effects such as diarrhea, flatulence, stomach cramps, and even vomiting.

It is vital to consult with a doctor before adding MCT oil to your diet. You can also lower your dosage, as it essential in providing a balanced diet.