MCT oil almost killed me

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #21

Nearly all fats contain at least some MCT: mid-chain triglycerides. The stuff you purchase that’s specifically called ‘MCT Oil’ is generally derived from fractionated coconut oil and may contain any combination of C6, C8, C10 and/or C12 fatty acids. One could potentially experience an adverse reaction to any one or more of these when used as a supplement rather than in it’s natural occurring form in a matrix of other fatty acids. C6, C8 and C10 are unique in that they can be utilized for energy without metabolic processing.

Allie’s comment way upthread (#2) is so important: always try something new in very small amounts and work up slowly only if nothing bad happens in response. The OP started with a “tablespoon” which could be anything from 20-30 grams, depending on the spoon. A more appropriate initial dose would have been 5 grams. Assuming her reaction was actually caused by the MCT she would have noticed something and maybe have decided MCT was not for her before it caused the more serious reaction she decribed here. In addition, she mixed the MCT with a “tablespoon” of heavy cream which again could be anything from 20-30 grams. If she simply mixed this combination with a spoon rather than a blender or emulsifier, she was drinking an oil slick. That alone might cause an adverse reaction.

Fractionated MCT oil is consumed daily by millions of folks with no adverse effects. In fact, the health benefits of MCT oils are well documented. Yes, as with virtually everything, some folks have adverse reactions and it’s unfortunate the OP apparently did so. But, really, there is no justification to condemn MCT oils generally and warn everyone else of the so-called danger of consuming them. Even someone who has a negative reaction to MCT oil, might very well tolerate coconut oil and receive the benefits of MCT without the downside. Just my 2 cents.


PS: I should also mention that the so-called ‘Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil’ you can purchase in any grocery store is MCT oil, generally a mix of C8, C10 and C12, but it probably contains more C12 than anything else. That’s what makes it cheaper than the MCT Oil you purchase in health food and supplement stores. It might also eliminate any adverse issues one might have with MCT oils that have more concentrated C6, C8 and C10.

(Ed) #22

@Robinette71 Although my case was not so bad I did experienced some discomfort using it. Started very small, just tiny bit on the spoon with my coffee, but later when increase the dose did not feel well during the day. Listen to my body and not taking it anymore. Instead just go for pure coconut oil!

(Joey) #23

Fascinating to read these experiences. Thank you.

Personally, I don’t take and MCT supplement product, so I have no idea what if any effect it might have on this old body of mine.

But sharing is caring … so thanks again for the information and alerts about your own reactions to this increasingly popular supplement.

(Kirsty Millington) #24

I am currently experiencing this now.
I have been having bullet proof coffee’s with MCT oil for over 2 weeks now carefully measuring out the oil and starting on very low amounts.
This week I decided to up the dose very slightly and put in 15ml I was absolutely fine ( so I thought) it doesn’t affect my digestive system however something was going on. I started getting heart palpitations which would last ages and make me feel really faint and sick . I didn’t think it could be the MCT so I battled on putting it down to caffeine intake etc but I was still getting them after cutting out caffeine which was scaring my husband.
I am currently in bed writing this after googling the side effects of this stuff.
Please tell me that now you have a avoided MCT oil the palpitations have Stopped ?


Please add reference links when people find things.

There is some interesting stuff. Including a link between MCT Oil a fat, Vitamin D a fat soluble vitamin, calcium an important element in heart rate control and genetics.

I think this is important as many people will be adding Vitamin D to their dietary supplements for immune system support during the pandemic. This could exacerbate heart palpitations in low carb eaters who also eat (or drink) extra fats when chasing blood ketones. I haven’t made all the link ups yet.

@VirginiaEdie do you have German heritage? Not that I have linked VDR genes to German heritage yet. Do you take Vitamin D in combination with MCT oil?

(Edith) #26

I do have German heritage. My father was actually born there.

I was supplementing vitamin D and Calcium, but I’ve recently stopped the supplements as part of my carnivore trial.

I do have trouble with caffeine. I am a Diet-Coke - aholic. I’ve given it up this month with some success, but not complete :weary:. The Diet Coke does have some diuretic properties with me, more so the caffeinated version. I have thought that it could be part of my electrolyte trouble, flushing out electrolytes.

I don’t take MCT or coconut oil. Let’s just say, they go right through me.

Edit: come to think of it, when I was having all my palpitations, there were certain foods that seemed to set them off. I thought I was developing food sensitivities. Coconut was one of them and so was dark chocolate. High histamine foods also caused palpitations, and actually still do if I have a high histamine day.

My diet has evolved so much since then. I’ve wondered if some of those sensitivities resulted from the large quantities of oxalate containing foods I was eating.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #27

Just curious why you thought supplementing with MCT is a good idea? What are/were you targeting?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #28

I add Jaga Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil along with several other fat and protein sources in my keto coffee each morning to my fat/protein ratios. The Jaga MCT oil is likely high in C10 and C12 and low in C6 and C8. I use MCT oil because it gets to the blood stream faster than anything else and thus delivers a relatively fast energy boost. The other fats (coconut oil, ghee and whipping cream) contain mostly long chain fatty acids and thus get processed slower, giving me a longer term energy boost. Thus my morning coffee provides a nutritious breakfast that sustains me all morning.

All About MCT Oil
(Scott) #29

I was adding about a teaspoon of MCT oil in my coffee for almost two years. No special reason other than when I started LCHF it was thought to help getting into ketosis. About three months ago I stopped to see if I could drop the last few pounds I wanted to lose. I also stopped adding butter to my eggs. I am losing a little and notice no need to continue to add MCT oil so I just don’t use it anymore.

(Joey) #30

@Kirsty_Millington Kirsty, welcome to the forum. I hope to hear you feel better soon, ideally before you get time to read this!

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing? I’ve noticed MCT products on the shelf for quite a while and never even thought to buy/eat any of them. I’m curious, too.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #31

It’s a liquid saturated fat. You could use liquid coconut cooking oil instead of PUFA-rich oils. Sprinkled on salad, for example. I use it in cream/casein mixes I make for ‘desserts’, sometimes in my ‘creamy bone broth’ instead of cacao butter. You could cook with it as well, but I don’t.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #32

Is there any concern about how it is refined?

How is liquid coconut oil rendered liquid?

All About MCT Oil
(Bob M) #33

Not sure about the refinement question. They process the fat so that it comes out as a liquid. That is, the properties of the fat make it a liquid.

I will use it sometimes in cooking, but don’t see the need to take it.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #34

Here is a pretty good run down on the refining process:

Fractionated ( liquid ) coconut oil has the least aroma and flavor of coconut oils. It does not have the same health benefits as regular coconut oil, because the good-for-you fatty acids are the ones removed during the fractionating process.

The " refined " stuff sounds scary to me… Bleaching ? Deoderizing?

All About MCT Oil
(Bob M) #35

I don’t know. The only stuff I can handle (not sure about some of the stuff I see recommended above - haven’t tried it) is the pure C8 stuff.

It doesn’t say how they get it, though.

There is some evidence that MCT helps weight loss, not sure by how much though. Some evidence they help increase ketones (though I did not see that). Some people might get a “rush” (boost in energy) from them. I can’t confirm that, but it’s also been a while since I’ve tried them.

If you take care of an older person who is losing memories, MCT oil can supposedly help.

My advice is to try them and see what you think. If they are a benefit, keep them. If not, ditch them.

I know when I first started skipping bfast and then lunch, I added bulletproof coffee of coconut oil and butter as a “breakfast”. That helped allay my fears of “dying of hunger” before dinner. After a while, I dropped the BP coffee and was okay, then started multiple-day fasts and was perfectly fine.

I’m still looking for that elixir that will turn me into Ted Naiman. I haven’t found it yet, though. :wink:

All About MCT Oil
(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #36

I think the various fractions are separated by heating and pure coconut is solid below about 70 F so we’re not talking about much heat. I’m at work now and don’t have the opp to find out. Will do so after I get home later.

(PJ) #37

I have a heart valve condition, and take diuretics as a result. This causes me to be low in minerals often, it’s a constant juggling of supplementation.

Low magnesium will give me heart palpitations.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #38

I decided to post my findings (so far) in another topic, rather than side track this one with a technical discussion about MCT oil.

(Jack Bennett) #39

When I first got into low carb eating, it was via the BulletProof diet so I was sold on BP coffee. (Never used the branded products, though - just generic C8 MCT oil)

I got very into MCT oil supplements and it was mostly uneventful. I can confirm that acute overconsumption leads to an urgent need to find a bathroom.

Thank you for reporting on the potential cardiac effects. I had not known that was a possible side effect for some people.

(Dee) #40

Thank you for sharing. I was online looking for natural energy, joints and hair growth and I saw someone recommended it on IG. I ordered this Collagen Coconut MCT that was good for all of the above. After a week of taking 1 scoop a day, I noticed heart palpitations. I didn’t know what the cause was until like you, I asked myself what am I eating/drinking different. I did my online research as you did and sure enough along with other MCT side effects there was the heart palpitations.
Thank God I realized it was the MCT. I was going to the ER with know real diagnosis, just Dr. Saying to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
Thank you again.