What does it mean to be the best MCT Oil
There are a lot of MCT oil products on the market, and at the last count, Amazon carried over 400 different products. Let’s start by explaining our criteria for the best. We set some very high and specific standards. The very best must meet 5 criteria.
First, the oil must be organic. There are several different systems for certifying something organic, and we are not going to judge any of them. Suffice it to say that no MCT oil deserves to be crowned as the best unless the manufacturer at least CLAIMS it to be organic. We are, for the most part, forced to rely on the integrity of the manufacturer. Certified organic MCT oil is surprisingly rare. That is not to say that MCT oil is horribly contaminated, but there are few certified sources of organic coconuts available and they can’t be created overnight.
Most people would not argue that organic is better than non-organic, but how much it matters really depends on the product. Mark’s Daily Apple lists products you should buy organic and those where it just doesn’t make that much difference. Check him out.
Sourced 100% from coconuts
To receive our “best” label, MCT oil must be made exclusively from coconut oil. The other option is palm oil. While there are claims of “rain forest friendly” or sustainably produced palm oil, these are often untrustworthy claims. Palm oil production in places like Malaysia has been devastating for the rain forest and orangutan habitat. Even the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification has been shown in Greenpeace’s “Certifying Destruction” report to be questionably sustainable. With the level of damage being done to the forests as a result of palm oil production, we are not comfortable putting any MCT oil containing palm oil on our list of the very best.
NOTE: In March of 2020 we revisited our decision to exclude all palm oil sourced products from our best list, including those RSPO certified. This review included a visit to Malaysia. Speaking with some people involved in the reforestation effort there was enlightening. We are still not comfortable endorsing any MCT oil that is sourced from palm oil. To read more, see our article, “RSPO Palm Oil now acceptable?”
Next, it must be non-GMO, and this is easy to do. To our knowledge, there are no GMO coconuts in the world. Most coconut-sourced MCT oils on the market claim to be, and probably are, non-GMO.
Pure C8 (Caprylic Acid)
C8, or caprylic acid is widely viewed as the most desirable form of MCT for several reasons. It converts to energy faster, is unlikely to be stored by the body as fat, and very seldom results in stomach upset. The other three common MCT oils, C6 (caproic acid), C10 (capric acid), and C12 (lauric acid) are all less effective and possess one or more unpleasant properties.
NOTE: While it is becoming more common, it is still somewhat rare to see pure, 100% C8 MCT oil. Therefore, we accept anything 95% or higher.
Only the liquid form of MCT oil meets our high standards. There are now powdered forms of MCT oil. Unfortunately, they almost always contain fillers in the form of a carbohydrate. Some powered MCT oils even contain maltodextrin. Maltodextrin has a glycemic index equal to that of pure sugar (high glycemic index is bad…mkay).
Now that you know what makes an MCT oil great, let’s actually look at the best ones.