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789 chats on “Help

  1. hi Soon Chai, thank you for your post! I am doing some research on MCT oil, specifically C8. So I've been taking MCT oil from different companies, and there are also some who sell pure C8 oil, like Brain Octane oil from the Bulletproof company in the US. Recently I had an opportunity to get a bottle of common caprylic oil (for industrial use, for the use for food additives, disinfectant) and smell it - it was scary because the liquid dissolved ink on a FedEx envelop which was lying there, it had a pungent smell, and the data sheet specifically said it is corrosive in nature. How can this be the same caprylic acid you could put inside a coffee? Brain Octane oil has allegedly gone through multiple distillation processes, but I cannot find any information regarding this subject. I just want to find out how the food grade caprylic acid is processed?

    • Hi Tabaan, good question you have raised. The industrial-grade caprylic oil you have bought has got a high concentration level of free fatty acids, which makes the oil very acidic and hence, corrosive (with a pungent smell).

      What is free fatty acid, by the way?

      All dietary oils are made up of triglycerides. Each triglyceride has 3 fatty acids bonded to one glycerol.

      When triglycerides remain intact, they pose no harm to us when we consume them since they're not acidic. But when they split up, the 3 fatty acids become free from the bonding.

      The more free fatty acids in the oil, the more acidic the oil becomes. In other words, free fatty acids are the ones that determine the acidity level of the oil.

      Now, to answer your questions, first off, when we say MCT oil contains caprylic and capric acids, that doesn't mean these acids exist in free form. They still bind to the glycerols as triglycerides.

      Triglycerides are harmless, remember?

      Yes, our saliva carries enzymes (but in limited quantity) that do break down some triglycerides into free fatty acids.

      But that's still safe on the whole (not so acidic) as most triglycerides are still in one piece until they get digested more completely in our small intestines. Our stomach do also help to digest triglycerides as well, but not as much as it occurs in the small intestines.

      In short, you can safely ingest caprylic acid in the form of triglycerides that won't dissolve the tissues in your mouth the moment you consume. But the industrial-grade caprylic oil you have with you will as the caprylic acids are already freed from the bond.

      So, in that sense, you don't have to worry about ingesting MCT oil. The reason why manufacturers try to keep temperature low while processing the oils using distillation, mechanical pressing or whatever low-temp methods is to keep as much triglycerides in one piece as possible so that they won't be too acidic for consumption, like the processing of extra-virgin olive oil.

      If you read the label on Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil carefully, it says "Caprylic Acid Triglycerides", not simply "Caprylic Acids" (which can literally burn a hole in your stomach).

    • I'm so sorry, Archana. No matter how busy I was, I shouldn't have overlooked your query. I tried my best to make sure no stones are left unturned when responding to comments. But the fact is, I goofed. I feel you and I sincerely apologize for holding you up for six months. Very, very sorry about that.

      Answering your question...

      You can make fractionated coconut oil at home provided you have the necessary apparatus for hydrolysis, fractional distillation and esterification.

  2. Thank you for this post - It's a helpful, straightforward explanation of the differences between the two oils (I kept forgetting what 'fractonated' meant anytime I was at the store). 😀
    As a licensed massage therapist for the last 2 decades, though, I'd like to add that plenty of MTs do use virgin coconut oil. I actually LOVE that it hardens at room temperature, because that way it never gets knocked over and stains carpets or clothing, and it's easy for me to melt the exact amount I need in my hands, as I go. LMTs actually do worry about the anti-bacterial properties and overall health benefits of the products we use on our clients' bodies [well, most of us, anyway; some bargain basement 'spas' use jugs of generic mineral oil :0 ]. We typically choose high-quality oils or blend a couple to get the amount of glide we want (e.g., coconut, almond, grapeseed, apricot, jojoba, avocado). It usually just comes down to the therapist's personal preference to work with and the type of massage they're doing at the time.
    We're trained in massage school to think of the skin as an organ that absorbs everything you put on it, good or bad - obviously, not at all to the degree as pouring it down our throats, but still not *completely* dissimilar to consuming it. Largely for that reason, I think that many of us are biased in favor of oils that we could use in food. There are definitely excellent massage-only products; Biotone's deep tissue creme was a necessity for me, until I discovered I could use plain cocoa butter, to similar effect (you may notice a trend in my own preferences toward solid-until-needed oil 😀 ).
    I found this page because I was trying to figure out exactly what fractionated coconut oil was for, but I've been happily using virgin coconut oil in my practice, as well as on my own skin and hair, and in my food, for years now. Vive huile coco!
    Much love and thanks for all the awesome info!