Coconut oil is an extremely healthy fat.
It is rich in some medium-chain fatty acids and has strong effects on metabolism
Segmented coconut oil is a product made of coconut oil, and contains mainly two medium chain fatty acids.
It is advertised as coconut oil still in liquid form even when refrigerated.
This is a detailed review of fractional coconut oil and its health effects.
What is fractional coconut oil?
Segmented coconut oil is oil made from regular coconut oil .
Both regular coconut oil and fractionated coconut oil are medium-rich medium-fat sources (MCT), providing fatty acids with 6-12 carbon atoms.
However, their fatty acid composition varies.
While the main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid containing 12 carbon atoms (C12), most or all of these fatty acids are removed from fractionated coconut oil.
Long chain fatty acids in coconut oil have also been removed.
The medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) in fractionated coconut oil are:
- C8: Caprylic acid or octanoic acid
- C10: Capric acid or decanoic acid.
MCFA is metabolized differently from other fats.
They are transferred directly to the liver from the gastrointestinal tract, where they can be used as an instant energy source. They can also become ketone types, compounds that may be effective in treating epilepsy .
Segmented coconut oil is tasteless, odorless, and more expensive than regular coconut oil.
It is quite similar or similar to MCT oil, which we mentioned above this paragraph .
Summary: Segmented coconut oil is made from regular coconut oil and mainly contains medium chain fatty acids such as caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10).
How is fractional coconut oil made?
Segmented coconut oil is produced through a process called segmentation.
Segments are used to distinguish the different types of fats found naturally in some oils. It is usually done to create new products for customers .
Segmentation can occur by different melting of fats.
For example, lauric acid and some long chain fatty acids have a higher melting point than caprylic acid and capric acid. So they will solidify when cooled.
The fractionation of coconut oil is done by heating the oil above the melting point. Then, cool and the solid part of the oil is separated from the liquid.
The whole segmentation process may take several hours
Summary: The fractionation process is often used to produce fractionated coconut oil. This method uses different melting points of fat to separate them.
Segmented coconut oil can help with weight loss
MCT-rich diet - the main ingredient of fractionated coconut oil, Can help lose weight .
Most studies of fat in the diet become MCT.
MCT can help you lose weight because of them:
- Reduce hunger and calorie intake .
- Help you burn more fat and calories .
- Less likely to be stored as fat .
However, lost weight is generally quite modest.
A summary of 13 studies showed that MCT compared with other fats reduced body weight by an average of 0.5 kg in 3 weeks .
The authors also noted that about half of these studies were funded by MCT oil producers. Therefore, the risk of bias is summarized: high.
Summary: Eating a diet rich in MCT can help lose weight somewhat, help you eat less and burn more fat. MCT is also less likely to be stored as fat.
Other potential benefits for health
MCT in coconut oil segment is related to several other health benefits, including:
- Improve physical activity: MCT is claimed to provide an alternative source of energy during long exercise, to save muscle glycogen. But overall, the effect is quite weak .
- Reduce insulin resistance: A small study showed that taking MCT could reduce insulin resistance and improve other risks in overweight diabetics. More research is needed to confirm this .
- Treatment of epilepsy: Children with epilepsy may improve when applied Ketogenic diet with MCT. Adding MCTs can help them eat more carb and protein, making diet easier .
- Better brain function: One study reported that in some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, MCT can improve brain function. However, this needs further study .
Summary: MCT in coconut oil segment enhances physical activity and improves many health conditions. However, more research is needed in this area.
Most fractionated coconut oils do not contain lauric acid
Lauric acid is the main ingredient of coconut oil. In fact, it contains about 50% lauric acid and is the richest source of this fat in the world.
Lauric acid has been linked to many health benefits. It can kill harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi, while protecting against various types of infections .
Most fractionated coconut oils do not contain lauric acid, or only very small amounts.
Because it does not contain lauric acid, segmented coconut oil may not have all the health benefits like regular coconut oil.
Summary: For fractional coconut oil to be in liquid state, lauric acid has been removed. Unfortunately, this fatty acid has been linked to many health benefits.
How is it used?
Segmented coconut oil is sold with 3 different names.
- Segment coconut oil: Mainly used in personal and family care, as a moisturizer, hair conditioner and massage oil.
- MCT oil: Often used as a dietary supplement, 1-3 tablespoons daily is recommended.
- Liquid coconut oil: Billed as a cooking oil.
In the end, they are still a type of product advertised under many different names.
Summary: Segmented coconut oil is also marketed as MCT oil and liquid coconut oil, but they are all basically a product. It is used for skin care and cooking.
Safety and side effects
The use of fractional coconut oil seems safe for most people.
However, there are some reports of some people experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms.
Including stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and quite common in children with a ketogenic diet rich in MCT
Although this case is quite rare, some people are allergic to coconut and coconut oil .
These people may have adverse reactions when using fractionated coconut oil.
Summary: Segmented coconut oil is well tolerated by most people. However, it can cause some digestive problems in some cases, as well as adverse symptoms in people who are allergic to coconut products.
Segmented coconut oil is made by separating different types of fats in regular coconut oil.
What remains are two medium-chain fatty acids, which can help with weight loss somewhat and provide some health benefits.
Coconut oil segment has some effect, but it is processed more than conventional types. And lauric acid - the most beneficial type of fat, is removed.
Personally, I like to use natural coconut oils, virgin coconut oil - this is a pure food source and can provide many other additional benefits.
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