Your brain makes up only 2% of your total body weight. But it consumes about 20% of your total body energy. Energy that is derived from glucose.
This glucose comes from carbohydrates you get from food. It’s used as energy for your brain and body or stored as glycogen in your liver and muscle tissue.
When your body and brain cannot get carbohydrates from food, your liver becomes the sole provider of glucose to feed your hungry brain. But this is a temporary solution.
When the glucose runs out either from dieting, starvation or age-related disruptions in glucose metabolism, you need another fuel source.
If left unchecked, it leads to one of several neurodegenerative diseases.[i]
The good news is your body has a built-in backup plan when the glucose runs out. This alternate energy fuel supply is called ketone bodies which your liver derives from fatty acids in your diet, or body fat.
These ketones (beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetate and acetone) are released by your liver and taken up by your brain. Then shuttled into mitochondria to be used in the citric acid cycle to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP).[ii]
You can get the ketones your brain needs by eating a very high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet, but it’s not necessary.
Table of Contents
Best MCT Oil for ketones
Coconut oil contains up to 60% medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs); caprylic acid C-8 (8%), capric acid, C-10 (7%), lauric acid C-12 (49%), myristic acid C-14 (8%), palmitic acid C-16 (8%), stearic acid C-18 (2%), oleic acid C-18 (6%) and 2% of C-18 linoleic acid.
MCT Oil that works as a nootropic is made by hydrolyzing coconut oil and esterifying the fatty acids shorter than lauric acid (C-12) with glycerol. In other words, the best MCT Oil should contain only caprylic acid C-8 and capric acid C-10.
But since MCT Oil has become popular for nootropic stacks and ketogenic diets, manufacturers have started to produce a supplement using only caprylic acid C-8. Which is more expensive and misses out on the benefits of capric acid C-10.
And some even produce a type of MCT oil that contains lauric acid C-12 —usually 30%.
The thing is recent research shows that lauric acid C-12, even though classified as a medium-chain fatty acid (MCT), acts more like a long-chain fatty acid.
Because it tends to be absorbed via the lymphatic system instead of going straight to your liver or brain for energy production.
It takes longer for lauric acid C-12 to convert to ketones than caprylic acid (C-8) and capric acid (C-10).
And using unrefined coconut oil or MCT oil containing lauric acid C-12 results in a slower energy response because of a less prominent rise in ketone bodies.[iv]
The best MCT Oil for nootropic use contains both caprylic acid C-8 and capric acid C-10.
Only a very few supplement companies produce this type of refined, high quality MCT Oil. And only one uses 100% verified organic coconuts.
It is called Performance Lab® MCT and I invite you to read on for my full review below …
My MCT Oil criteria
I lived in the Caribbean for many years and am now in Miami. So I’m fussy about my coconuts and MCT Oil.
My MCT Oil needs to:
- contain both caprylic acid C-8 and capric acid C-10
- not contain lauric acid C-12
- be 100% medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) only
- be non-GMO and certified organic
- not be contaminated with gluten, soy, colorants, preservative or other additives
- expeller-pressed or centrifuge extraction only
- use verifiable and pure fresh, white coconut flesh, not copra (dried coconut)
I’ve used unrefined organic coconut oil as a natural healthy fat source for years.
And naturally, I have been aware of various MCT Oil and brain octane oil products offered by several supplement manufacturers.
But not a single company produced a certified organic MCT Oil containing perfectly calibrated amounts of caprylic acid C-8 and capric acid C-10.
Until now …
Discovering Performance Lab®
I use a lot of nootropic supplements every day. The list has grown as I learn more about how my body and brain work. And research has revealed what it takes for me to perform at the levels I want to live life.
But there came a point when I wondered if there was some way I could consolidate my daily supplement regimen. And take fewer capsules from fewer companies to maintain the way I feel and perform.
Then I discovered a new supplement line created and produced by the same company who makes my favorite pre-formulated nootropic stack; Mind Lab Pro®.
Who Makes Performance Lab®?
I’ve been using Mind Lab Pro for over 5 years and have come to trust the company. And the quality of their supplements.
Opti-Nutra is based in the U.K. and manufactures all their supplements in the USA.
Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi is the foundation of their new supplement line.
Their new Performance Lab® MCT supports the benefits of the universal cognitive enhancer I use – Mind Lab Pro®.
Some of the Mind Lab Pro formula contains fat-soluble compounds like found in Bacopa Monnieri and Lion’s Mane Mushroom. And require a healthy fat such as Performance Lab® MCT oil for absorption to get their full nootropic benefit.
An added benefit of using MCT Oil with Mind Lab Pro is more brain cell energy from quicker ATP synthesis using ketones instead of glucose.
Performance Lab® MCT Ingredients
Performance Lab® MCT is pure, organic MCT oil extracted from 100% organic non-GMO coconuts.
This MCT oil is calibrated to provide exactly 7.1 g (60%) Caprylic Acid (C-8) and 5.1 g (40%) Capric Acid (C-10) in each tablespoon dose.
Performance Lab® MCT Dosage
Recommended dosage of Performance Lab® MCT oil is 1-tablespoon 3-times per day. Or each time you take a fat-soluble nootropic supplement.
How Performance Lab® MCT Works in Real Life
Neurohackers report that MCT oil increases alertness and focus. Others say their brain is ‘clearer’ and they feel energized throughout the day.
Some say they feel an improvement in mood. Appetite is suppressed and their happiness level is elevated for about 4 hours.
Pros & Cons of Performance Lab® MCT
- Calibrated amounts of Caprylic Acid (60%) and Capric Acid (40%)
- Made from 100% organic non-GMO coconuts
- Extracted with hexane-free technology and triple distilled for purity
- Avoids using cheaper Lauric Acid (C-12) which is not a MCT
- No added ingredients
- Tested prior to bottling for allergens, GMOs, microbes, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants
- Tested again to confirm potency, purity, and activity after bottling
- Empty bottle, money-back guarantee (less shipping)
- 24/7 customer support
- Only available on their website
- Premium price
I honestly can’t think of any other cons for this organic MCT Oil supplement. It works for me and I truly hope it works as well for you.
Opti Nutri sells Performance Lab® MCT at a premium price. But here’s how it compares to its direct competition.
Performance Lab® MCT oil is superior to Bulletproof® Brain Octane Oil which is not organic and contains only Caprylic Acid (C-8).
And Bulletproof® XCT Oil which does provide both Caprylic Acid (C-8) and Capric Acid (C-10). But is not organic with no guarantee of calibrated amounts of C-8 /C-10.
Onnit Labs® offers MCT Oil but it’s not organic and contains Caprylic Acid (C-8), Capric Acid (C-10), with Lauric Acid (C-12) which is not really a true medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).
Nootropics Expert Recommendation
I recommend the use of Performance Lab® MCT oil as a nootropic.
Performance Lab® MCT is a premium-priced MCT oil. But is obviously superior to its direct competition who do not offer an organic product. And no indication or way to verify their testing procedures for purity.
The biggest advantage with Performance Lab® MCT oil is rapid absorption as an energy source. Converting quickly and efficiently into ketones for mitochondrial energy synthesis.
Performance Lab® MCT is particularly effective for a Keto, paleo, low-carb, or intermittent fasting diet.
Opti Nutra only offers their Performance Lab® products including their MCT Oil on their website. You will not find it on Amazon or other online retailers.
Opti Nutra goes the extra mile by using organic, non-GMO coconuts. And oil extracted using non-toxic, hexane-free technology that’s triple distilled for purity and taste.
And Opti Nutra also offers a risk-free, “empty bottle”, money-back guarantee if you are not happy with their product.
If you are looking for a high quality MCT oil – I recommend giving Performance Lab® MCT a try.If you’d like to try Performance Lab® MCT, or learn more about this exceptional line of supplements, please go to their website and have a look around. And while you’re there, get Performance Lab® MCT.
[i] Mergenthaler P., Lindauer U., Dienel G.A., Meisel A. “Sugar for the brain: the role of glucose in physiological and pathological brain function” Trends in Neuroscience 2013 Oct; 36(10): 587–597. (source)
[iv] McCarty M.F., DiNicolantionio J.J. “Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity” Open Heart 2016; 3(2): e000467. (source)