The MCT Oil Scam

The MCT Oil Scam

The jury is in.While MCT Oil isn’t exactly bad for you, it leaves out important nutrients you need. And the money you spend on it funds the swindle!

I’m happy to say that the TreeLight site is well-enough regarded, and well-enough known, that people propose articles to me, from time to time. One of the topics that is more frequently posed is that of “MCT Oil”.

Another Article Crosses My Desk

Every so often, I get a really well-written article that claims MCT Oil is vastly superior to coconut oil, and that purports to explain why. The latest proposal was the best yet. It was so well written as to be darn near convincing — until I read the paper it was referencing.

I can only assume that someone is paying these people to write the articles. They provide a list of points to make, give the person a couple of references, and then offer to pay them for every link that is posted to it, with an extra bonus every time it is picked up and posted.

Or maybe the people who are making money by selling MCT Oil just write the entire article, and pay people to pretend they wrote it. Either way, the latest proposal was instructive. So instructive, that I doubt I’ll fall for the “MCT Scam” ever again.

A Theme Without Reason

In the latest instance, the article (which was well-written, compelling, and convincing) made several points:

  • Coconut oil has large amounts of Lauric Acid (true).
  • Only small amounts of Lauric Acid are converted to Monolaurin (true).
  • Monolaurin is a very effective antimicrobial (true).
  • The other Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are more effective antimicrobials (false).
  • A good MCT Oil contains no Lauric Acid (true).
  • Therefore MCT Oil is better than Coconut oil (false).

In this case, the very reference provided in support of the article proved to contradict the elements of the thesis marked as “false”, above. That reference was:


As a prelude, it may be helpful to understand how fatty acids are processed — because another claim made in the article was that “Lauric Acid doesn’t act like a true MCT” because “it has to be processed in the liver”, whereas “other MCTs bypass the liver”.

That’s not true at all, of course. What actually happens is this:

  • All of the MCTs are shunted straight to the liver, at the very top of the intestinal tract. (It’s practically the very first thing that happens, and that’s why Lauric Acid was classified as an MCT in the first place.)
  • The long-chain triglycerides go all the way down the intestinal tract, and are absorbed into the lymph, where they circulate and are stored as fat cells, before they are used.

So if there was any point to be made at all, it’s that LA undergoes more processing in the liver. But that processing, it seems, is extremely beneficial for us primates!

The Real Facts

The real facts of the matter are stated quite nicely in the research paper that was given as a reference. It starts by pointing out the growing danger of antibiotic resistance that is producing “super bugs” in hospitals. Then it goes on to say:

  • “Lauric acid has also been shown to be virucidal and bactericidal, although monolaurin has even greater activity” (pg 3, col 1, under “Loss of Lauric Acid from the American Diet”, start of 2nd para)
  • Also: “the American diet has undergone…almost a total loss of antimicrobial fatty acids such as lauric acid from coconut oil that could produce monolaurin with all its described benefits.”
    • I suspect that monolaurin is like Omega-3’s. Only small amounts are needed, compared to other versions of the fatty acids, but those amounts are critical.
  • “If monolaurin is formed from lauric acid in coconut fat, the level is no greater than 3 percent” (pg. 3, top of 2nd column)
  • And: “Even (the) small amounts of monolaurin converted from lauric acid in coconut fat and mother’s milk, (as well as lauric acid itself) are virucidal and bactericidal.”
  • And: “Coconut fat also provides caprylic acid, capric acid, and myristic acid, which are virucidal and bactericidal as well.”
    • So MCT and coconut oil are equivalent, with the exception of Lauric Acid and the small amount of monolaurin that results.
    • However, if Lauric Acid is present in large amounts, then even a 3% conversion rate would produce a reasonable amount of Monolaurin!
    • So if a body is consuming MCT Oil, where does it get Monolaurin from, if the MCT oil contains no Lauric Acid?
  • “In the past, infant formulas were good sources of lauric acid, because a greater amount of coconut oil was used.” (pg. 3, col. 1)
    • Lauric acid is pretty important then.
    • And my personal belief is that we evolved as a species on a tropical beach, with coconuts, fish, and bananas.
    • In other words, our bodies are adapted for those things.
    • So creating a “refined” product like MCT Oil seems to be a step in the wrong direction. It purports to be better, but I do not believe that it is.

In fact, the paper has even more direct contradictions of the claims made by MCT Oil:

  • “Lauric acid produces greater activity against microorganisms than caprylic acid, capric acid, or myristic acid, all of which are present in coconut oil. (pg. 4, column 1, 1st para that starts on the page, emphasis added)
  • “Given that coconut oil provides approximately 50 percent lauric acid, a substantial amount of this bactericidal and virucidal fatty acid can be obtained from consuming coconut fat in pure coconut oil”
  • “In addition, it is important to note that lauric acid appears to have immune-boosting properties.
  • “(In one small study) both coconut oil and the lower dose of monolaurin (2.4 g) were effective in significantly lowering the viral load for several patients.”

In fact, right on page 1, col 1, under “Monolaurin Chemistry”:

  • Comparatively speaking, lauric acid (C12) has a greater antiviral and antibacterial activity than other medium-chain triglycerides such as caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), or myristic acid (C14). Monolaurin is many times more biologically active…”

And, in the conclusions:

  • “Coconut oil provides mostly medium-chain triglycerides that are rapidly absorbed and transported to the mitochondria where they are utilized for fuel and may be less likely to be stored as body fat.”

So even a cursory reading of that reference paper should have prevented the author from making the claims made in the proposed article!


My bottom line at this point is that coconut oil is vastly superior to MCT Oil for human health.

Coconut Oil is VASTLY superior to MCT Oil for human health. Click To Tweet

If someone really likes spending money, they should combine MCT Oil with a supplement that includes Lauric Acid and Monolaurin! Because, in my view, MCT Oil is simply another variation on “refined foods”.

It’s like “white bread” and “white rice” which, by removing the bran, make a tasty product that can be sold for a lot — enough to fund extensive marketing efforts, in fact — after which the people who buy into the swindle need to buy other expensive supplements to get the nutrients the refined products are lacking!

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