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PhytoBalance

MCT C8 Powder

Our lab-certified Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) C8 Powder is a purified source of caprylic acid that your body can convert rapidly into ketones to use as a quick, clean source of energy!

As with all our products, quality, efficacy, and sustainability are top of our agenda, so we have formulated our powder using isolated C8 MCT’s, as this form of MCT’s have been shown in scientific research to enhance ketogenesis when compared with other sources of MCT’s1.

Our MCT C8 powder is vegan, gluten free and tastes amazing! It can be used as a coffee creamer, added to shakes and smoothies or used in baking, whenever you want to benefit from increased ketogenesis!

Net weight of product ordered: 250g, 500g, 1kg

  • £19.99

ABOUT

C8 MCT’s can help increase energy levels, promote satiety (decreasing perceived hunger) and enhance brain function, so whether you’re on a strict ketogenic diet or just looking for a convenient way to enhance periodic ketone production, our C8 MCT powder could help you optimise your cognition and energy levels2,3! The only other ingredients in our formulation are Acacia fibre (a natural prebiotic), which we use to convert the oil into powder and was specifically chosen for its ability to promote digestive health4, and a very small quantity of silicon dioxide which we use to prevent our powder from taking on too much moisture and clumping together. Finally, in line with our commitment to eco-sustainability, we have sourced our MCT oil from sustainable, traceable coconut plantations (no palm oil in our product!) and we use fully recyclable packaging so you can feel great about fuelling your body whilst minimising harm to our planet.

What is an MCT?

Medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are a form of saturated dietary fat that we would typically consume when eating coconut, palm oil, milk and animal products. However, don’t be misled by outdated health advice into thinking that all saturated fats are necessarily bad for you. As we’ll discuss below, there is solid evidence suggesting that including MCT’s (and in particular, C8 MCT’s) in your diet could provide a variety of benefits.

So, what exactly is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT)? Well firstly, a triglyceride is a technical term for fat and refers to its structure of 3 x fatty acid chains (the tri in triglycerides) bound to a glycerol molecule (the glyceride in triglyceride, which denotes a glycerol molecule bound to one or more fatty acids). The medium in MCT’s comes from the number of carbon molecules in its fatty acid chains, with MCT’s having between 6-10 carbons, whilst short-chain fatty acids (SCT’s), produced primarily by our gut bacteria via their digestion of resistant starch in our diet, have 2-4 carbons; and long chain fatty acids (LCT’s), found in the majority of fats/oils in our diet, have 12-22 carbons. The length of the chains within the term MCT (6-10 carbons) is then used to define its sub-type; caproic acid (6 x carbons), caprylic acid (8 carbons) and capric acid (10 carbons). This is also where our C8 MCT powder gets its name from, as it’s an isolated form of caprylic acid, but we’ll get to that a bit later!

How are MCT’s digested and broken down into ketones?

The shorter chains of the fatty acids in MCT’s are responsible for the majority of their benefits partly because they enable the MCT’s to be digested and absorbed much faster then longer chain fatty acids. Firstly, after eating MCT’s, they eventually reach our small intestine and are absorbed into the hepatic portal vein system (bound to an albumin protein) where they are transported directly to the liver. This is very important as longer chain triglycerides undergo a much longer digestion process, involving micelle formation inside the small intestine and then being packaged into chylomicrons before being absorbed into our lymphatic system (a completely different system to MCT’s). The long chain triglycerides (LCT’s) then end up in our general circulatory system where they are susceptible to the effects of hormone sensitive lipase which can allow them to be deposited in adipose tissue (stored as fat). In contrast, MCT’s are transported directly to the liver where they are broken down to produce a quick source of clean energy.

In our liver cells (and all cells in our body) we have thousands of tiny organelles called mitochondria. The mitochondria are responsible (amongst other things) for breaking down the base products of the food we eat to produce the majority of the energy we need in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Usually, when a fatty acid enters the cell, it requires a specific transporter (carnitine) to enter the mitochondria, however, the benefit of the shorter MCT’s is that they can enter the mitochondria without this transporter and therefore be broken down more quickly to release their energy. As an interesting note, MCT consumption has been shown to induce mitogenesis (increase the number of mitochondria in our cells) and enhance their efficiency thereby increasing the potential to metabolise fats and produce energy5!

Once inside the liver cell mitochondria the MCT’s are metabolised to form multiple 2-carbon fragments called acetyl-coA. Acetyl-coA is then converted into the ketone bodies beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate which are released into the bloodstream to be used for energy by our body and brain. The formation of these ketone bodies is called ketogenesis and this increase in ketogenesis is key to the wider health benefits that MCT’s can offer.

What are C8 MCT’s?

The benefits of maximising production of ketone bodies during the breakdown of MCT’s is why we have chosen to use a specific C8 form of MCT in our formulation. As we discussed earlier, there are several different forms of MCT’s depending on their carbon chain length. However, not all MCT’s are created equal and actually, the shorter the chain length, the more effective that they are in increasing ketogenesis! Now whilst caproic acid (C6) does have less carbons than our C8 formulation and would likely increase ketogenesis to a higher degree, it is also extremely bitter, can burn your throat and is likely to cause digestive problems in the form of severe diarrhoea! It is also not found in appreciable quantities in vegan products or has sufficient quality scientific research behind it so is not a product we would recommend. However, the C8 MCT (caprylic acid) has been shown to be around three times more ketogenic than C10 and around six times more than C121. You may see some MCT products being sold as an ‘MCT blend’ or ‘C8/C10 mix’, which will still have an impact on your ketogenesis, but when a pure C8 MCT was compared against a C8/C10 MCT blend, it was the C8 MCT which was found to have the highest ketogenic effect over an 8 hour period6. It is for these reasons that we have chosen to use a 99.5% lab certified form of C8 MCT’s in our formulation, so you can be sure you are getting the best quality product, backed up by solid scientific research!

What are the benefits of consuming MCT’s?

One of the key benefits of ketones is their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier; making them an important source of energy for the brain. The brain uses a large proportion of our total energy; approximately 20% of our entire daily usage, despite comprising only 2% of our total weight! However, the brain can only use glucose or ketones for energy and as ketones aren’t produced in great quantities during the day (with a typical carbohydrate heavy diet), the brain is reliant on blood glucose levels to sustain its function. As glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day with food consumption and insulin levels, there can be a less than optimal supply of fuel for the brain, which we can experience in brain fog, tiredness and lethargy. However, supplementing with MCT’s during these periods can raise the levels of ketones in the blood leading to enhanced focus, clarity and cognitive function7.

In addition to their capacity as a quick source of energy, the ketone bodies produced following ketogenesis have also been shown to act as signalling molecules in the body, responsible for a wide range of effects including decreasing inflammation, antioxidation and even anticancer effects in certain situations. The benefits of ketones and ketogenesis have been used to treat symptoms in a range of different diseases, including Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative disorders8-11.

The more specific benefits of increasing ketogenesis are something that we’ll discuss in more depth below and include boosting metabolic function, decreasing inflammation, appetite management, energy expenditure and enhancing cognition and athletic performance. These are some of the reasons why you may hear of people consuming a ketogenic diet; in essence, this is a diet very low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat. The reduced carbohydrate intake limits the availability of glucose and forces the body to start utilising more fat for energy and initiating ketogenesis. However, the metabolic switch from burning glucose to producing ketones doesn’t happen immediately. During the initial process as your body is consuming its blood glucose and then depleting its muscle and liver glycogen (our internal stores of carbohydrates) to release more glucose, energy levels are likely to drop and you might experience symptoms including fatigue, light-headedness and headaches. This is because your body is recognising energy levels are falling, but still hasn’t really kick-started ketogenesis as it is used to relying primarily on glucose for its energy and isn’t best adapted for ketogenesis. This is an ideal time to consume some of our C8 MCT’s as they will quickly raise your ketone levels, giving you a boost of energy, helping you to avoid these unwanted initial symptoms and kickstarting the process of ketogenesis.

Why Acacia fibre is in our C8 MCT powder?

In formulating our C8 MCT products, we wanted to produce both an oil and a powder to allow you to benefit from the amazing power of ketogenesis in a wider range of uses. The oil is great to use as a standard oil, but for baking or adding to coffees or smoothies, you might not enjoy the oily texture that it gives and so we decided to produce a powder to alleviate this issue. In creating our powder, we needed to find a way to convert the oil into a powder and decided to use Acacia fibre to bind the oil and allow it to be dried to a powder. We specifically chose to use Acacia fibre as it is a well-established natural prebiotic which gives you the additional benefit of promoting a healthy digestive system when you consume our C8 MCT powder12!

Why should you consider consuming C8 MCT’s?

Consumption of C8 MCT’s has been shown to be around three times more ketogenic than C10 and about six times more ketogenic than C121. One of the benefits of this increased ketone production is that it causes our mitochondria to adapt to this new situation and upregulate the enzymes required for ketogenesis. This means that we then have a greater ability to switch into ketogenesis the next time round. The ability to switch between different fuel substrates is known as metabolic flexibility and increased metabolic flexibility is believed to be of great importance to our health.

In a healthy, young adult participant group, MCT consumption improved cognitive performance in a range of tasks after 2-3 weeks11. In addition, a single meal containing MCT’s was shown to have a positive impact on a range of cognitive tests in a healthy, elderly group of participants13.

Studies like these suggest that MCT’s could be used to boost levels of cognition, memory and executive function!

Each serving of our C8 MCT powder contains approximately 5g of Acacia fibre and research has shown that daily consumption of 5-10g Acacia fibre over a 4-week period led to an increase in the healthy Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli and Bacteroide populations in the guts of healthy, human participants4. Increasing the quantity and diversity of our microbiome plays a massive role, not only in maintaining the health of our gut, but also impacts our overall health and wellbeing.

Consuming 20g of MCT’s was shown to significantly reduce the amount of food consumed at a later meal, when compared with the same amount of LCT’s14. This suggests that MCT’s could be used to help regulate appetite and increase satiety.

MCT consumption could lead to an increase in fat burning and total calorie expenditure throughout the day. This was indicated by a study which compared a diet with higher MCT content to one with higher long-chain triglyceride (LCT) content. Over a 28 day period, the MCT rich diet was found to result in a greater degree of energy expenditure and fat oxidation in an overweight human group15.

A meta-analysis of 13 studies supported this suggestion, finding evidence that dietary MCT’s compared with LCT’s could lead to a reduction in body weight and improvement in body composition16.

HOW TO USE

You can add 1-2 heaped dessert spoons of your C8 MCT powder to your morning coffee which will give you approximately 20-40g of MCT’s. It can also be added to shakes and smoothies or be used in baking; whenever you want to benefit from increased ketogenesis!

HOW TO STORE

Store unopened in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight and out of the reach of young children. Please reseal the ziplock on your bag of C8 MCT powder after use. Once opended, we recommend consuming this product within 1 year to ensure maximum nutritional benefits are retained.

INGREDIENTS 

C8 caprylic acid MCT oil sourced from sustainable coconut plantations, acacia fibre, silicone dioxide.


Nutritional Information


STUDY REFERENCES

1 St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Lowry, C.M., Fortier, M., Castellano, C.A., Wagner, R. and Cunnane, S.C., 2019. Plasma ketone and medium chain fatty acid response in humans consuming different medium chain triglycerides during a metabolic study day. Frontiers in nutrition, 6, p.46.

2 Ashton, J.S., Roberts, J.W., Wakefield, C.J., Page, R.M., MacLaren, D.P., Marwood, S. and Malone, J.J., 2021. The effects of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) supplementation using a C8: C10 ratio of 30: 70 on cognitive performance in healthy young adults. Physiology & Behavior, 229, p.113252.

3 St-Onge, M.P., Bourque, C., Jones, P.J.H., Ross, R. and Parsons, W.E., 2003. Medium-versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women. International journal of obesity, 27(1), pp.95-102.

4 Calame, W., Weseler, A.R., Viebke, C., Flynn, C. and Siemensma, A.D., 2008. Gum arabic establishes prebiotic functionality in healthy human volunteers in a dose-dependent manner. British Journal of Nutrition, 100(6), pp.1269-1275.

5 Wang, Y., Liu, Z., Han, Y., Xu, J., Huang, W. and Li, Z., 2018. Medium chain triglycerides enhances exercise endurance through the increased mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism. PLoS One, 13(2), p.e0191182.

6 Vandenberghe, C., St-Pierre, V., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., Castellano, C.A. and Cunnane, S.C., 2017. Tricaprylin alone increases plasma Ketone response more than coconut oil or other medium-chain triglycerides: an acute crossover study in healthy adults. Current developments in nutrition, 1(4), p.e000257.

7 Ashton, J.S., Roberts, J.W., Wakefield, C.J., Page, R.M., MacLaren, D.P., Marwood, S. and Malone, J.J., 2021. The effects of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) supplementation using a C8: C10 ratio of 30: 70 on cognitive performance in healthy young adults. Physiology & Behavior, 229, p.113252.

8 Rusek, M., Pluta, R., Ułamek-Kozioł, M. and Czuczwar, S.J., 2019. Ketogenic diet in Alzheimer’s disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(16), p.3892.

9 Azar, S.T., Beydoun, H.M. and Albadri, M.R., 2016. Benefits of ketogenic diet for management of type two diabetes: a review. J Obes Eat Disord, 2(2).

10 D’Andrea Meira, I., Romão, T.T., Pires do Prado, H.J., Krüger, L.T., Pires, M.E.P. and da Conceição, P.O., 2019. Ketogenic diet and epilepsy: what we know so far. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13, p.5.

11 Paoli, A., Bianco, A., Damiani, E. and Bosco, G., 2014. Ketogenic diet in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases. BioMed research international, 2014.

12 Calame, W., Weseler, A.R., Viebke, C., Flynn, C. and Siemensma, A.D., 2008. Gum arabic establishes prebiotic functionality in healthy human volunteers in a dose-dependent manner. British Journal of Nutrition, 100(6), pp.1269-1275.

13 Ota, M., Matsuo, J., Ishida, I., Hattori, K., Teraishi, T., Tonouchi, H., Ashida, K., Takahashi, T. and Kunugi, H., 2016. Effect of a ketogenic meal on cognitive function in elderly adults: potential for cognitive enhancement. Psychopharmacology, 233(21), pp.3797-3802.

14 St-Onge, M.P., Mayrsohn, B., O'Keeffe, M., Kissileff, H.R., Choudhury, A.R. and Laferrère, B., 2014. Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men. European journal of clinical nutrition, 68(10), pp.1134-1140.

15 St-Onge, M.P., Bourque, C., Jones, P.J.H., Ross, R. and Parsons, W.E., 2003. Medium-versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women. International journal of obesity, 27(1), pp.95-102.

16 Mumme, K. and Stonehouse, W., 2015. Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(2), pp.249-263.