Comparing different kinds of MCT oil
MCT oil can be divided into four subcategories. These are:
- C6 (also called Capron acid or Hexanoic Acid)
- C8 (also called Caprylic Acid or Octanoic Acid)
- C10 (also called Capric Acid or Decanoic Acid)
- C12 (also called Lauric acid or Dodecanoic Acid)
These numbers show how long a fatty acid chain is. In this case, C6 would be the shortest chain, while C12 is the longest chain. The length of the chain determines how quickly the fatty acids are metabolized as energy.
MCT C6 - Capron acid
Coconut oil only contains a minor percentage of C6. Although it quickly converts to ketones, it has some disadvantages. It tastes bad. and it often results in stomach/gastric upset.
MCT C8 - (Brain) Octane Oil - Caprylic acid
Caprylic acid is found in coconut oil, palm oil, butter, and breast milk. Only around 6% of coconut oil is C8. (Brain) Octane Oil is 100% C8 and is 18 times stronger than coconut oil.
The body rapidly metabolizes caprylic acid into ketones that the brain can use for instant energy without the need for glucose from carbohydrates or sugar. This means that (Brain) Octane oil offers a higher level of brain performance than XCT Oil.
In addition, (Brain) Octane Oil helps balance yeast in the digestive tract. Why place so much value on caprylic acid and its yeast-balancing benefits? Because candida, or the overgrowth of yeast in your gut, causes myriad health problems. These problems include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Skin and mouth infections
It is believed that the way caprylic acid helps is by dissolving candida’s cell membranes, causing the cells to die off, and correcting any problems caused by yeast in the first place.
Caprylic acid has a number of other benefits to offer as well. Besides treating bacterial and yeast issues, it also appears to have a beneficial effect on hypertension (high blood pressure) and Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel condition). It is thought to improve Crohn’s disease symptoms by suppressing IL-8 secretion (a chemokine found in the intestines of Crohn’s sufferers).
MCT C10 - Capric Acid
Capric acid is found in small amounts in cow’s milk and goat’s milk, coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Only around 9% of coconut oil is C10. It is slower to turn into energy than C8, but is more affordable. Health benefits attributed to capric acid include:
- An increase in “good” HDL cholesterol relative to “bad” LDL cholesterol
- Strong antimicrobial and antiviral properties
- Fast break down and processing in the body, supplying abundant energy
- Assistance with fat loss and muscle building
Capric acid is also present in the breast milk of nursing mothers – yet another reason to breastfeed!
MCT C12 - Lauric acid
Chemists decided long ago to categorize C6, C8, C10 and C12 as MCT, but from a biology perspective, lauric acid should actually be considered a LCT (long chain triglyceride). So the cheapest and most common of the MCTs, C12 (lauric acid), is actually a pseudo-MCT. It behaves like an LCT not an MCT, when you consume it. Unlike the biological MCTs, C12 (lauric acid) gets processed by your liver.
MCT C8+C10 - XCT Oil
XCT Oil is the original oil developed for use in the official Bulletproof Coffee recipe. Bulletproof changed the name of Upgraded MCT oil in XCT oil (Xtra MCT Oil). XCT oil is more than just organic virgin coconut oil (although some people use coconut oil in Bulletproof Coffee with decent results).
XCT Oil really does provide a superior experience because it’s 6 times better at providing medium chain triglycerides than coconut oil. This is a version of coconut oil refined using a Bulletproof process that results in a product that’s 100% capric and caprylic acid.
XCT Oil is perfect for making Bulletproof Coffee, but it also has many other uses in the kitchen. You can add it to foods like smoothies, soups, vegetables, sushi, and Bulletproof ice cream (yes, there is such a thing!). It’s also easy to store – it’s liquid at room temperature and no refrigeration is needed.
XCT Oil improves energy levels, (Brain) function, and helps with weight loss. Your cells convert XCT Oil to energy faster than other oils and help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It helps you absorb nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium better, and controls harmful bacteria and viruses in the body.
(Brain) Octane or XCT Oil?
Use (Brain) Octane Oil if you want the maximum cognitive benefit, a fast rise in energy and the quickest digestion.
Use XCT Oil if you are looking for an affordable MCT oil that helps your metabolism to burn fat, but has a slower and smaller cognitive effect and a slower rise in energy. Or if you are using it on your hair or skin!
What about Taste?
All those impressive benefits don’t matter much if the vehicle is an unpalatable, low-quality oil. And in fact, caprylic acid normally does have a taste and smell many people find unpleasant, often described as “goat-like.” However, thanks to Bulletproof’s unique process that reduces free fatty acids, (Brain) Octane Oil has no smell or taste at all. This makes it perfect for adding to a wide variety of foods.
As for capric acid, its flavor tends to be milder, more like heavy cream. For this reason it is often used to make flavors for cream itself, butter, milk chocolate, caramel, whiskey, and more. However, it is processed in a special way for use in Bulletproof products, resulting in a tasteless and versatile MCT Oil.
So the taste of either product will be nearly nonexistent; if anything, XCT Oil may taste slightly creamier than (Brain) Octane Oil.
(Brain) Octane Oil and XCT Oil may have differing benefits (in addition to many shared ones), but they can be used interchangeably. No doubt you are already aware that Bulletproof Coffee is one use for these oils, along with butter from a grass-fed source.
To make Bulletproof Coffee, start with boiled, filtered water. Use it to brew a cup of coffee (eight to 12 ounces). Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter and 1-2 tablespoons of (Brain) Octane Oil or XCT Oil (these are very strong; start with a very small amount and work up). Mix coffee, butter, and oil in a blender for about 20 seconds until it’s irresistibly foamy and frothy like a latte. Delicious!
But don’t stop there. (Brain) Octane Oil and XCT Oil can be used in lots of ways. Try using them instead of some of your other oils. Keep in mind that too much (Brain) Octane Oil can cause stomachache or diarrhea, so start with small amounts and slowly work up until you know how much you can tolerate. You can add these oils to any recipe: soups, smoothies, salad dressings, and more.
Can’t You Just Use Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is the go-to oil for many people who follow the Paleo Diet. It’s included in many Paleo recipes and does have impressive health benefits, especially compared to other oils like vegetable oil. And in fact, MCT oil is derived directly from coconut oil.
But coconut oil is not 100% MCT oil; coconut oil contains a high percentage of lauric acid, which is a long-chain fatty acid (as opposed to medium-chain). And it’s the medium-chain triglycerides that are more highly ketogenic. Therefore, MCT oil is much more effective at stimulating ketosis (the body’s fat burning state). Ketones are also good for the (Brain) and appear to play a role in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerations.
Medium-chain fatty acids also have a greater satiating effect, providing further help in weight management. They are easily used by the liver, which means enhanced energy and thermogenesis (calorie burning!).
So the bottom line is, yes, you can use coconut oil and it does have very beneficial qualities, especially when compared to many other types of fat. But pure MCT oil is better in many ways. So (Brain) Octane is the absolute best choice, followed by XCT Oil, and finally coconut oil – all still better options than other oils.
(Brain) Octane or XCT Oil as Part of the Bulletproof Diet
So now that you know the difference between MCT oil, (Brain) Octane Oil and XCT Oil, and you’ve decided which one is right for you, how do you get started down the Bulletproof Diet path?
The Bulletproof Diet is really sort of an “upgraded” version of the Paleo diet plan. It combines biohacking techniques such as choosing the right fats, avoiding sugars and refined carbohydrates, and intermittent fasting to help you lose weight and build muscle and give you more energy and mental sharpness.
Start by stocking up on staples so you’ll have everything you need and sticking to the diet will be as easy and convenient as possible. What you’ll need:
- Low-toxin coffee, for example Upgraded Coffee
- Grass-fed butter
- (Brain) Octane or XCT Oil
- Meats such as grass-fed beef, grass-fed bacon, and wild-caught salmon
- Pastured eggs
- Berries (frozen berries are highly convenient and nutritious)
- Vegetables such as asparagus, kale, and spinach
- Bulletproof chocolate or Upgraded Chocolate Powder
Start by drinking your Bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning – have nothing else for breakfast. Do not eat until around 2 pm – and when you do, eat only foods allowed on the diet.
Finish all your eating for the day by 8 pm – you are essentially fitting all of the day’s eating into a six-hour window. This allows you to get the benefits of intermittent fasting, and they are numerous and powerful. The only thing you’ll consume during the remaining 18 hours of the day is water and Bulletproof Coffee.
Try the Bulletproof Diet and you’ll be hooked, like so many others before you who have hacked their (Brain)s and bodies to become fitter, leaner, healthier, and happier.