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MCT Oil Side Effects & How To Minimize Them

MCT oil has become a very popular supplement due to the fact that it provides the body and brain with an efficient, potent source of fuel for increased energy. Most people that take MCT oil notice slight improvements in physical energy or mental performance. There are a variety of potential MCT oil benefits including: enhancing weight loss efforts, antimicrobial effects (e.g. against Candida), and aiding cognitive function.

It can even be used to help control epilepsy on a ketogenic diet and as a source of fat for individuals who are unable to process other types of fats due to medical conditions. Most sources suggest that MCT oil is a relatively safe dietary supplement when used properly. That said, there are still plenty of individuals who notice that when they take MCT oil – they get side effects, some of which can be very unpleasant.

Side effects from MCT oil are most common when a person first starts supplementing. This is generally due to the fact that the body hasn’t fully adapted to the newly incorporated MCTs. As the body adapts, it is thought that new enzymes are generated to help process the increased medium-chain triglyceride intake.

Factors that influence MCT Oil side effects

If you’re experiencing unpleasant side effects from MCT oils, there are some factors you’ll want to consider to help determine what the potential cause may be. While some side effects are common in the short-term, persistent long-term side effects generally indicate a more pronounced problem that needs to be addressed.

1. Dosage (1 to 3+ tbsp)

Most companies recommend taking anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons per day. Some people start out going full throttle with 3 tablespoons and quickly find that they have an array of unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea, upset stomach, intestinal gas, and they feel like crap. Nobody should start out taking the maximum recommended dosage of MCTs unless they want to experience severe side effects.

While the common recommendation may be 1 tablespoon, starting out with just 1 teaspoon can help your body slowly adapt to the MCTs. Just like any drug, you shouldn’t increase to the maximum daily amount immediately. Slowly titrate the dosage upwards over a period of weeks – not days. In other words, take 1 tsp for a week or two, then try 1 tbsp for the following week and determine how you react.

In general, most people experience side effects because they are taking too high of an MCT dosage for their bodies to handle. Those on smaller doses tend to experience a fewer number of side effects with reduced severity compared to individuals who go crazy with high doses.

2. Duration of supplementation

If you’ve only been taking MCTs for a short-term, expect to experience some side effects, especially if you started on a moderate dose. To minimize the side effects over the course of the short-term, it is recommended to start with a very low dose (e.g. 1 tsp) and slowly work your way up to 1 tbsp when you believe you can tolerate it. Most people notice that side effects tend to be most pronounced within the first few weeks of using MCTs on a daily basis.

After several weeks, the body should adapt to the medium-chain triglycerides and be better equipped to process them. Some speculate that certain gut adaptations may ensue following consistent administration of MCTs over the short term such as development of new enzymes. Most people notice that over the long-term, side effects tend to lessen in severity and/or completely subside.

3. Food vs. Empty stomach

Another factor to consider is whether you’re taking MCT oils with or without food. Taking MCTs on an empty stomach may be setting yourself up for unwanted diarrhea, stomach pain, or gastrointestinal issues. Most MCT supplements and medical guidelines suggest that MCTs should be taken with food and should not be heated (e.g. used for cooking) – if they exceed a certain temperature (e.g. 320 degrees), they could be harmful.

Most people find that if the MCTs were causing gastrointestinal distress on an empty stomach, that taking them with food tends to mitigate the unwanted side effects. If you’re taking them with food already, you’re on the right track. You could experiment with taking them right before eating, in the middle of a meal, or immediately after eating to determine which strategy is optimal for side effect reduction.

4. Type of MCT Oil

Most people believe that all MCT oils are created equally and have the same contents. Unfortunately there are several different types of MCTs including: C6, C8, C10, and C12 – indicating the length of the chains. Additionally the purity of various MCTs may not be the same due to how they were processed. (For more information read: “What is MCT Oil?“)

Contents: Using C6 (caproic acid) tends to burn the throat and may create more unwanted side effects than necessary. It is the shortest chain and is also processed most rapidly by the body. Certain products may contain a mixture of all 4 types of MCT oils, possibly increasing the incidence of side effects.

Some sources suggest that C12 (lauric acid) behaves more like a LCT (long-chain triglyceride) and could result in side effects stemming from the longer breakdown. It should also be mentioned that some MCTs are extracted from coconut oils, palm kernel oils, or a combination of both – which may also influence your side effects.

Purity: It has been thought that some MCTs may contain chemicals, solvents, or other unwanted byproducts during their processing. Additionally if they are manufactured and shipped in a plastic container with BPA – this may affect how you react. Make sure you have done your research and found an MCT that is processed well and shipped in a container that doesn’t contaminate the product.

Various companies tend to use distillation to avoid oxidation of various lipids and create a pure product. Others are thought to use various catalysts and solvents to help with the production of their MCT oil. The refining process may be conducted with chemicals that may affect the final product and contribute to side effects that you may not get with a purer MCT. Since dietary supplements are not evaluated by the FDA, it is important to be cautious and make sure you’re getting the highest quality stuff.

5. Individual variation

It is important to keep in mind that while many people experience similar side effects from MCTs, there is significant variation based on the individual. One person may experience side effects over the long-term with MCTs and never feel fully “adapted” to the effects. Another person may take MCTs and not notice much of any side effects. Additionally certain medical conditions, medications, and genetics may influence the effects of the MCTs.

Those that are currently pregnant or breast-feeding may want to avoid using MCTs altogether due to the fact that using MCTs during pregnancy isn’t well studied. Additionally diabetics may not respond well to the build-up of ketones throughout the body. Those with liver problems should consult a medical professional to determine whether MCTs are safe for consumption (especially with formulations incorporating C12 lauric acid).

MCT Oil Side Effects: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of side effects that you may experience while taking MCTs. Keep in mind that the severity and number of side effects will be subject to individual variation based on the factors listed above.

  • Anxiety: Generalized anxiety may occur among individuals with a susceptibility to nervousness or individuals with anxiety disorders. This is likely due to the fact that MCTs can increase mental energy, giving the brain a jumpstart. While this is a relatively uncommon side effect, it is one that has been reported by certain people.
  • Appetite reduction: Many people find that taking MCTs reduces their appetite. This is because MCTs are converted into energy, giving the body and brain a potent boost that they would’ve normally obtained from standard food. Many people feel satiated and less of a need to eat when they supplement MCTs.
  • Flatulence: Some people notice that they tend to get very gassy and fart a lot when they start taking MCTs. This may be a result of taking too high of an MCT dose too quickly. To avoid this effect, try to take the MCTs with food and scale back on food. Most people find that the gassiness subsides after a few weeks of consistent supplementation.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Some people have pointed out that MCTs cause gastrointestinal irritation. As was mentioned, this could be a result of impurities within the product, but could also be a result of the specific MCTs that are used. It has been speculated that the shorter the chain of the MCT (e.g. C6), the more gastric distress a person is likely to experience due to the speed of processing.
  • Diarrhea: Experiencing a severe bout of diarrhea is extremely common when people first start taking MCTs. In fact, diarrhea is perhaps the most common side effect of all. If you are experiencing diarrhea as a side effect, lowering the amount of MCTs that you’re taking is a smart idea. Also consider taking your MCTs with food as it may help reduce gastrointestinal distress.
  • Digestive problems: If you suspect that the MCT oils are affecting your digestion, you’re probably right. Many people notice that their stomach feels gassy, they experience diarrhea, or abnormal bowel movements when they first start supplementing MCTs. Assuming you have no medical conditions that would be causing digestive issues, reduce the MCT dosage until your digestion stabilizes.
  • Dizziness: A common reaction to nearly any drug or supplement is that of dizziness. If you’ve become dizzy as a result of MCT oil, you may want to reduce the dosage, try a different brand, or consume it with food. This isn’t a very common reaction, but may be related to increased mental energy and/or anxiety from the MCTs.
  • EFA deficiency: There is some speculation that supplementation of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) may result in essential fatty acid deficiency. While some studies found no such problem, a couple studies involving administration of MCTs to infants found that EFA levels were deficient as a result. Make sure you are getting sufficient EFAs to avoid becoming deficient; which could lead to its own subset of side effects.
  • Headaches: Certain people are prone to headaches when taking MCTs, especially when they first begin supplementing. While the cause of these headaches is unknown, they may be related to the way the MCTs were processed, impurities, composition of the oil, or even a result of increased mental energy. High levels of mental energy from MCTs may lead some people to experience headaches.
  • Hot flashes: In some cases, individuals may notice an increase in body temperature from the MCT oil. This increase in temperature may occur in the form of “hot flashes” in which it feels as if the body is suddenly heating up. This may be due to the speed by which the MCT oil is being absorbed and metabolized – thus giving the body more energy. Hot flashes as a result of taking MCT oil are thought to be more common among women.
  • Hunger: Most people experience a reduction in appetite after taking MCT oil due to the fact that it is an efficient source of energy. However, some people have reported feeling increasingly hungry following MCT consumption. This may be due to a variety of other factors including drugs or supplements that the person is taking as well as dietary factors. However, one study shows that MCTs may bind to ghrelin and convert it into an active form that may stimulate appetite. Keep in mind that most evidence contradicts this side effect, but it is one that people have reported.
  • Irritability: A lesser reported side effect from MCT oil is that of irritability. If you notice that you’re becoming irritable, it may be due to the fact that you’re brain is overstimulated from the energy the oils have provided. To decrease the irritability, scale back or tweak the dosage so that you’re taking an amount that makes you feel less irritable.
  • Nausea: If you feel nauseous while taking MCTs, you’re not alone. Many people report nausea in the early stages of supplementation as well as if they take too high of a dose. While nausea is a commonly reported side effect, it shouldn’t persist over a long term. If nausea doesn’t subside after a few days or weeks, you may want to consider that the brand of MCTs may be problematic and/or your dosing may be too high.
  • Perceptual changes: The fact that MCTs provide the brain with increased energy and elevate levels of circulating ketone bodies may result in perceptual changes. Dietary intake is known to affect brain function, and therefore a ketogenic diet, perhaps induced by increased consumption of MCTs may result in a noticeable perceptual shift.
  • Stomach aches: As was mentioned, MCT oil can lead to gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, flatulence, and other digestive issues. Stomach aches are very common when a person first starts taking MCTs. Most people will adapt to the MCT oil and the stomach aches should subside after several weeks. If you’re experiencing stomach problems, scale back the dose and make sure you’re taking the MCT oil with food.
  • Throat irritation: If you take certain types of MCTs on an empty stomach, you may feel as if they are slightly burning the lining of your throat or stomach. It has been suggested that shorter chained MCTs (e.g. C6 caproic acid) may be to blame. Make sure your formulation is void of C6 as this may be the culprit for the burning sensations.
  • Tiredness: A counterintuitive reaction to MCTs is that of sleepiness or feeling increasingly tired. Most people find that MCTs are very physiologically activating, but a select number of people notice that they feel even more tired after taking the supplement. Be sure to rule out other causes of the sleepiness and discontinue the MCTs to verify that this was a reaction to them.
  • Vomiting: While a majority of people do not end up vomiting from MCTs, some cannot bear the nausea and end up looking for the puke bucket. If you experience vomiting as a side effect, you are likely taking way too much MCT oil and aren’t taking it with food. If you are vomiting from a very small amount, you may have an impure product or maybe aren’t able to tolerate the product; in this case discontinuation should be advised.
  • Weight changes: Some people experience weight changes when supplementing MCTs. Many athletes and bodybuilders use MCTs as an efficient means of providing the body with energy and decreasing appetite. A majority of people experiencing weight changes following MCT supplementation report a minor degree of weight loss as opposed to weight gain.

How to minimize MCT oil’s side effects…

If you are experiencing unwanted side effects from MCTs, first verify that nothing you’re taking is interacting with it and that you don’t have a medical condition that’s contributing to the problem. Also check the source of the MCTs, the composition, and ensure that the MCT oil hasn’t already expired (rancid oil will set you up for side effects).

  1. Take it with food: Most bottles of MCT suggest taking it with food to reduce side effects. If you are currently taking it on an empty stomach, try taking it after you’ve had some food and determine whether side effects are less pronounced. Many people find that taking MCTs with food mitigates most of the unwanted effects.
  2. Reduce the dosage: An obvious strategy to reduce the side effects of MCTs is to reduce the dosage. If you’re currently taking 1 tbsp and noticing significant side effects, scale back to 1 tsp and reassess your experience. Taking too high of dosage, especially in early stages of supplementation can result in side effects. If 1 tsp is causing problems, take only a 1/2 tsp and titrate upwards as your body adapts.
  3. Switch types and/or brands: If you’re taking a certain type of MCT oil (e.g. C12 lauric acid), you may want to switch to a formulation with C10 or C8. In addition to the specific MCTs that are utilized, you may want to switch to a different brand to determine whether the processing, production, or manufacturing may be an issue. Some manufacturers use methods to produce MCTs that may result in impurities or poorer quality products.
  4. Wait for body to adapt: In some cases it’s just a matter of playing the waiting game. Since most people aren’t used to taking MCTs, when you start supplementing, the MCTs are a new stimulus that your body needs to process. In the early stages of supplementation, your body isn’t prepared for the MCTs, but over time, it comes to expect them and knows how to process the medium-chain triglycerides without side effects.
  5. Discontinue: If the effects from MCT oil are severe, discontinuation is probably the best strategy. It’s not worth supplementing medium-chain triglycerides if they are causing significantly more distress than benefit.  No one wants to be stuck on the toilet for hours because they took 1 tsp of MCTs… If you sense that you aren’t able to adapt to the MCTs, it’s best to listen to your body.

Who should NOT take MCT Oil?

While MCT oil is thought to be safe for most people, there are certain people that should consider avoiding medium-chain triglyceride supplementation.

  • Breastfeeding or Pregnant: There isn’t sufficient research to support the safety of MCT oil among breastfeeding or pregnant women. There is even some evidence that medium-chain triglycerides may result in depletion of EFAs (essential fatty acids) in the unborn baby. To be on the safe side, avoid this supplement if you’re pregnant.
  • Diabetes: Among those with diabetes (primarily those with Type 1), MCTs may result in high build-up of ketones throughout the body. This is a result of cells burning fat instead of glucose for energy. This can result in a condition called “ketoacidosis” which can poison the body in diabetics, resulting in diabetic coma (passing out), and may be fatal.
  • Liver problems: While shorter chain MCTs are thought to bypass the liver, longer chain MCTs (e.g. C12 lauric acid) may result in liver problems. Regardless of the MCT composition that you’re considering, always consult with a medical professional if you have any preexisting liver disease or liver problems (e.g. cirrhosis).

MCT Oil: Weighing Benefits vs. Side Effects

If you’re taking MCT oil and experiencing side effects, keep in mind that they may eventually subside as your body gets used to the oil (over a period of weeks). If you are still experiencing side effects after moderate or long-term usage, you should take the time to weigh the benefits you’re getting from the MCT with the side effects.

If the side effects are so severe that you cannot function, obviously discontinuing the MCT oil is a smart idea. However, if you’re getting considerable benefit from the MCT oil (e.g. cognitive function), minor side effects may be justified. Always conduct a benefits vs. side effects analysis after several weeks of MCT supplementation.

Have you experienced side effects from MCT Oil?

If you’ve been using MCT oil, feel free to share whether you noticed any unwanted side effects in the comments section below. Feel free to mention the particular brand of MCT oil, how long you’ve been taking it (short, moderate, or long-term) as well as the specific subtype of the oil (e.g. C6, C8, C10, C12) and its source. Also discuss whether you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications that may be contributing to the side effects that you’re experiencing.

Realize that most people notice side effects in the short-term, but they tend to subside after a few weeks. Before blaming the MCT oil for side effects, also consider any other medications and supplements that you may be taking. I’ve been taking MCTs for several months and haven’t noticed any major problems other than intermittent stomach aches when taken on an empty stomach at a high dosage.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15677766

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{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Suzanne June 5, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Thanks for this article. I was going to give up on MTCs as I was experiencing nausea, hot flashes and oh…hot flashes!!! Adding food and reducing the dosage has decreased the symptoms, so I am encouraged that they will go away with time.

    • Catherine February 17, 2016, 8:47 pm

      Wow! Everyone at work kept asking me if I was going through the change as I kept going red! :) This is probably why. The thing with me and the reason I looked on this site is that I am so hungry tonight I feel pregnant (I’m not). Could this be due to my metabolism speeding up? I will never sleep… I am so hungry and there is no curbing it. Took slightly more MCT than usual.

  • Teresa October 4, 2015, 2:37 pm

    I thought I was going crazy until I read this! Thank you! Totally triggered a panic attack but it was after 2 tablespoons on the first day and flu like symptoms with nausea. However it truly does wake your brain up.

    • Joe November 6, 2015, 8:42 pm

      I felt the exact same thing! LOL. I took a tbsp with my vitamins and had a stomach ache, got dizzy and nauseous and very anxious so I read this article and I feel better. LOL. Will most likely discontinue and see how I feel.

  • Michelle February 7, 2016, 4:57 pm

    I took only 1/8 of a tsp. An hour later I had major diarrhea. That tells me it’s good stuff. I just need to go slow and take with food. (I put it in coffee).

  • William March 10, 2016, 8:42 pm

    I tried MCT oil for the first time today, took it on an empty stomach as well. With in an hour of the dose I was sweating like a madman, had nausea and then the diarrhea hit me 😖. I’ll make sure to take it with something on my stomach next time and even a smaller dose!

  • Barbara March 14, 2016, 7:59 pm

    I just started taking MCT oil, maybe two weeks now. I think I increased the dosage too soon. The side effects I am having are HOT Flashes, Irritability, and Nervousness. I am somewhat afraid to continue using the oil. Oh yeah another issue is my belly fat, I had under control, now I think it is out of control. I am taking the Now Sports brand, (only thing I could find in the stores) C8 and C10. Should I try something different?

    • Bob540 March 24, 2016, 10:57 pm

      Barbara: I am taking the same oil, for the third day now. Other users noted that getting such small amounts from the bottle was “drippy”, so I just pour an unmeasured small amount into my smoothie. About 15 minutes later, I get stomach cramp-type pains, which persist for 15-30 minutes. No problems after that. I take it from this column that my body needs to get accustomed to the oil, so I will keep taking it and expect the upset to pass. So far, I haven’t noticed any change in my mental or emotional status, or in my energy level.

  • Chandratiney March 18, 2016, 11:31 pm

    I’m on the toilet as I type, with the bubble guts. I took this at 2pm, I tore that cap off and guzzled what I felt was a tablespoon, I sat at work holding my belly then got in the car and drove home from work slumped over the steering wheel. I missed my evening workout. My belly was making unusual sounds. I said, oh no. I think I will add this to my shake in the morning with a teaspoon. We shall see. I don’t believe in torching myself.

  • Lynne Holliday March 21, 2016, 12:20 am

    Thanks for all the comments. It really helped me identify what’she been going on. No more MCT oil for me.

  • Jason March 23, 2016, 2:07 pm

    I took 3 TSPs and in a few hours I was dizzy, nauseous, and my heart rate would not slow down making me feel as though I had over amped my heart like dope does. I would strongly suggest that you take very little at intervals of time or you will definitely feel like crap guys.

    • Rob April 26, 2016, 4:39 pm

      Jason – My reaction was similar, with a feeling like my heart had a weight on it. It’s a good think a Google search lead me to this excellent article and discussion because I had no idea what was going on and I know that it’s not a heart attack because I’ve been checked out by a cardiologist.

      My does is only 1/2 tsp of pure C8, and only for a few days now. Other people I know have great results with the same brand so I will continue to cut my dose in half till and see what happens. Thanks for your post.

  • Barbara April 4, 2016, 3:33 pm

    So taking MCT may not be a good thing for people taking blood pressure mess if like Jason said on March 23, it “ramped” his heart up like speed does. Anyone know about blood pressure med and taking MCT? I’m a 70 year old female in pretty good health except for my high blood pressure, I’d really like to try MCT just to have a little more energy and just be a little more mentally alert.

  • Melanie April 5, 2016, 10:14 pm

    I just started taking MCT oil 2 days ago; I have only used 1 tbsp. a day and I have major cotton mouth and really bad hot flashes. I was a little worried about the side effects but now that I am reading these other comments I am not so worried anymore. I will see if these side effects subside after 1 week and hopefully increase my intake to 2 tbsp. a day. Good luck to everyone!

  • Herman Rutner April 9, 2016, 7:20 pm

    I am amazed at the high incidence of side or negative effects, even from 1/8 teaspoon! Looks almost like phony posts fabricated by a pro pharma site discouraging its use despite numerous published reports of benefits for this coconut oil derived fat. Been taking about 1-2 tbsp daily in divided doses, also substituting coconut oil for other fats in food for weeks, mainly for weight loss and ketogenic benefits without any GI side effects.

    Also found it an excellent emollient skin oil, oily initially but completely absorbed within minutes and leaving it smooth. You can mask the slight odor with a perfume or aromatic oil like rosemary, etc. This may well be a better route bypassing the stomach for taking MCT.

  • Daniel Bolton April 12, 2016, 4:40 pm

    I’ve been taking the Brain Octane MCT oil for about a week, and am glad I found this page! I’ve only been taking a TSP a day and I’m not sure if the positives outweigh the negatives. First the positives; mentally, I feel a little sharper and quicker, it suppresses my appetite – I don’t want breakfast after having it, and that’s about it.

    Negatives: loose bowels – maybe that will go away as my body adapts, the big negative is irritability – I’m generally a happy and easy-going guy, after taking the oil, I find I’m having trouble controlling my emotions. The first day that I took it, I thought that maybe I didn’t get enough sleep, small inconveniences during the day made me feel like I wanted to fly off the handle.

    The highlight of my day is playing with my kids after work, but since taking the oil, I feel like I want to brood darkly on the couch, that a dark rage is just millimeters away in my mind. I’m not sure, will I adapt to that, too?

    • Rob April 26, 2016, 4:27 pm

      Dan – I was relieved to find your post because it sounds similar to my reaction of irritability and bad mood and anxiety and that at only 1/2 tsp. My MCT is pure C8 by a very reputable brand. The same product works great for my wife at 1 Tbs dose. I believe that there can be great benefits from MCT so I will continue to reduce the does to see if there is an amount that works well for me.

  • Tony April 21, 2016, 9:37 pm

    I started taking the Sports Research MCT oil about a month ago, and I really like it. At first, I tried taking 2 tbps, bit it gave me some diarrhea about three hours after the fact. I am up to 2 again, and haven’t had any issues. All I can say is that it works: more mental and physical energy. You need to avoid buying cheaply made MCT oil, I am sure that a lot of people who have had symptoms is due to this.

    • Kristen July 3, 2016, 8:22 pm

      How can you possibly be “sure” people with side effects are buying cheap brands?

  • Anna May 3, 2016, 2:20 am

    I take 2 tablespoons of Alpha Supreme. Except for some diarrhea and very slight headache, I’ve had no other side effects. I can live with that while my body adjusts. I also got a B12 injection recently and that can cause headaches. MCT oil is mighty powerful. I swear I lost 5 pounds today peeing out of my poo hole. Sorry TMI?

    • Michael Crist May 4, 2016, 2:41 pm

      No, not TMI. A little crude — but matches my “watery diarrhea” exactly!

  • Michael Crist May 4, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Wow! Including the original post and all the subsequent comments… this is perhaps one of the most precise, comprehensive, informative, and helpful sites I’ve ever had the good fortune of finding through an internet search! I’m a 55 year old Caucasian Male with the following issues:

    1. Obesity.
    2. Hypertension.
    3. Borderline Cholesterol Problem.
    4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS] for at least ten years.
    5. Tolerable triglyceride levels BEFORE MCTs.
    6. High triglyceride levels AFTERWARDS.
    7. Doctor wanted to put me on medication to reduce it.
    8. I said no.
    9. Taking Atenolol.
    10. ” Aspirin.
    11. ” about forty [30] other vitamins & supplements.

    Unfortunately, loose stool & chronic diarrhea have been part of my life for many years now. But something was making it MUCH WORSE. Let me summarize from the symptoms described in the initial narrative [above], then mention additional items fom the comment section:

    1. 1,000 mg [1g] capsule = .2 tsp [fractional amount]
    2. also taking fish oil (Triple Omega 3-6-9 @ 2,000 mg [2 g] daily)
    3. discontinued both after reading this article
    4. gastrointestinal problems
    5. diarrhea [frequent & watery]
    6. digestive problems
    7. irritable – hard to say [wife would likely indicate “no more than usual”]
    8. tiredness – some [possibly unrelated]
    9. bubble guts & unusual sounds – ditto
    10. b.p. acting weird lately — fluctuating too much throughout the day
    11. otherwise feeling well
    12. Oct. ’15 – doctor visit [presented with occasional sharp pain near sternum [right upper quadrant] — suspected liver issue [palpation & x-ray determined nothing exceptional]
    13. Nov. ’15 – gastroenterologist visit [blood work & stool sample — nothing exceptional (i.e. no Celiac; no Crohn’s Disease; blood series of tests negative; apparently stool was negative for parasites too, as I never heard anything back)]

    It cost me $40 for a “specialist visit”. Then I got a bill from the hospital wanting almost $400 just to analyze the stool sample! The doctor’s office is across the street from the hospital, and I was just following instructions to take the stool sample to the hospital lab. I didn’t know they were going to gold-plate it!

    14. definitely going to discontinue MCTs — definitely not worth it
    15. other factors though — MCTs just aggravated existing condition

  • Kristin May 16, 2016, 7:31 pm

    I have a HUGE issue. Starting taking MCT with bulletproof coffee a year ago. Started slowly and no issues and good benefits. Just recently it seems that I have become tolerant to even the slightest amount, experiencing diarrhea and gas. Why would it start a year later? I have cut back but will still experience the gas and diarrhea… can anyone help? I love it and have grown addicted and don’t want to stop taking it! Use NOW brand… same as what I have been using for a year.

    • Ryan August 1, 2016, 5:54 pm

      Feel the same. Been using MCT 2 different quality types for over a year and recently been getting headaches, irritable, mood swings, gas, nausea and dizziness like taking a drug. Will remove from my diet next 2 weeks and see what happens.

    • Elaine October 14, 2016, 2:45 pm

      I have been having issues recently after 2 good months. I am wondering if it could be a healing crisis but have had to stop the MCT oil for a few days. I was feeling great from it initially and worked up slowly. Then the past week, foggy head, tired and irritable.

  • Cathy Padojinog June 17, 2016, 7:02 am

    I’ve been using MCT Oil just last February. I was 64 kgs that time. I start to low dosage for 5 ml a day and put in in my coffee almost everyday. It’s June and I weighted 52 kgs now. At first I also experience diarrhea but as I observed, I’m getting thinner and firmer. And it also improves my skin. Now, I’m taking 2 tsps a day and it continually helps me to maintain my weight and have an active brain.

  • Khiri June 21, 2016, 6:16 pm

    I began taking MCT oil yesterday, and really thought that death would have been better than what I was experiencing 🙂. At least I now know what to do, thanks to this article… and Google for helping me find it. I decreased the dosage to 1 teaspoon today, and now have a major headache, but at least the GI issues have subsided (most of yesterday was spent on the toilet-sorry if that was TMI) and the hot flashes are gone. There is still a bit of dizziness, and I am really HAWNGREE all of the time, but I will continue with the product with the hope that the positives will outweigh the negatives.

  • Valerie Amato June 27, 2016, 5:02 am

    I had no idea!!! I used 2 tsp a week ago and could not understand why that night I slept for 12 hours, like I was drugged. The next night I woke at 1:30 AM and was awake for two hours. For two days afterwards, my stomach would not stop gurgling to the point where my husband could hear it across the room and I had diarrhea, then got constipated.

    The bloating is terrible. I have had hot flashes and night sweats for two weeks. I had no idea and unfortunately had another 2 tsp in my salad tonight and the symptoms came right back. I’ve also had a restlessness and slight depression, neither of which I am prone to. I must be very sensitive. It just never occurred to me to look up side effects of an oil which was recommended to me by a naturopath who never mentioned the possible side effects.

    I’m done with it. Not worth the suffering. I just hope this next bout isn’t as bad as the last.

  • Paul Saunders July 11, 2016, 2:18 am

    Started with 1 tbs in my smoothie and 1 tbs of Kerrigold butter. No issues the first two days. Ever since then I have had what feels like brain fog and dizziness. I definitely do not feel sharper and more alert. Quite the opposite. I had bowl problems at first, but they have somewhat subsided.

    The dizziness and dull brain feeling has not subsided though. I may try a smaller dose or possibly just stop altogether. I have only tried it for around five days. I have been using the MCT oil that is sold at Thrive online. Doesn’t say exactly what type of MCT oil this is or the length of the triglyceride chain.

  • Jeff K July 13, 2016, 10:00 pm

    Wow! Thanks for this article! This explains so much of what has happened to me since I started taking MCT oil. The extremely watery stools are a deal breaker for me. I did not have these problems when I took virgin coconut oil. I’m going back to virgin coconut oil. It may not be as effective, but at least it doesn’t have such severe side effects.

  • Mike V July 26, 2016, 1:56 pm

    I am three days into using MCT oil. The diarrhea hit day one. Day two, my fibromyalgia symptoms seemed to have faded away. Day three, hard time calming down and falling asleep. I didn’t see a hard time falling asleep or the timing when you should take the oil as an issue. Anyone else experience this?

  • Jena August 2, 2016, 4:43 pm

    I had pretty severe nausea and stomach pain / bloating about a week after starting mct oil. My husband and I started trying g for a second child so I mistook my symptoms for pregnancy. Since then I have not had my period but pregnancy tests are negative and I am wondering if this is due to the mct oil? Anyone have insight in this or missed periods from use of mct oil?

  • Randall August 31, 2016, 6:05 am

    Was on Brain Octane (C8) for three days, one tsp 2 – 3 X day, felt much sharper with increased energy, but…had alot of gassiness and actually constipation, opposite of what most experience, plus I would wake at night, restless, headache, irritable, bad dreams, unable to return to sleep, brain actually felt like it was under semi-attack when waking at night, so I quit and all returned to normal the next night. I am going to try again – this time 1 tsp a day (or every other day), will also have my naturopath test for suitability and dosage this week.

  • Lori September 2, 2016, 10:09 am

    I’ve been taking the Viva Labs Non-GMO Pure Coconut MCT Oil brand of MCT. I use it in my coffee every morning as part of a ketogenic diet. Bullet proof coffee (information on the web) is something a lot of people on this diet partake in. After a month I stopped adding the heavy whipping cream and butter that it calls for and substituted it entirely with coconut oil and MCT.

    I started out with 1 Tablespoon each in my coffee. That was too much to begin with. I ended up in the bathroom within an hour. I lowered the MCT to .5 Tablespoon and 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil. That seemed to be the right thing to do for my body. Now I make my coffee with 1 Tablespoon of both (my body adapted), coffee and 1 oz. of Jordan’s skinny syrup. I blend it in my bullet blender and I am not hungry from 6-1PM.

    It’s a great dietary aid for me. I’m actually not hungry even at 1PM but being diabetic I worry about my blood sugar fluctuating too much. As a result of the diet and use of MCT, I don’t get the afternoon fog that I used to get. I also have the lowest morning blood glucose readings. In the beginning part of June 2016 my numbers hovered at 189-300, very erratic.

    Now I have been able to begin to lessen my evening Lantus (insulin) from 26 units to 22 units, with bg numbers in the low to below 100’s. My lowest number was 89. That has not happened in 13 yrs. since I was diagnosed. My energy level is also up. side effects that I have noticed, but have overcome- hot flashes (I’m 58 so I’m used to them!), trouble getting to sleep, using the bathroom too often, lack of appetite.

    Benefits- ENERGY, weight loss, lower blood glucose numbers, less brain fog, and clearer vision. I sent a friend who has MS some to put in her morning coffee. She reported that she only takes 1 nap per day as opposed to 4 that she used to take.

  • Kennie September 7, 2016, 5:25 am

    I used the Now Sports MCT oil and I got a major panic attack. Heart was racing and my hands were shaking. This was with 1 tbsp taken with a meal. Yes that was my first and last time taking it so I will be using regular old coconut oil from now on!

  • Aurora October 4, 2016, 5:41 pm

    I just got my new bottle of Viva Labs Pure Coconut MCT Oil and put about half a TBSP in my coffee and within half an hour was in the bathroom!! All morning trying to get son ready for school, I had to keep sitting down because of horrible cramps! It’s 4 hours later and getting better, but still pangs of cramps and I know I will keep visiting the bathroom!! I feel like I had a cleanse! I sure wish I had read all this BEFORE I took it! So tomorrow I will just have like a half tsp and see what happens.

  • Allan October 7, 2016, 3:26 pm

    MCT oil needs a carrier to slow absorption, otherwise it shoots through most people. Bread is a good carrier, but frying rice in it is a great option. Heat the MCT oil just enough to boil the oil and mix the spices in before adding in your favorite rice. Once the rice is coated (less than a minute) add the water to finish cooking. Consume the rice in meals throughout the day and you have a steady energy source that lowers blood sugar as well.

    For people with IBS that find rice too binding and shy away from it, the MCT oil fixes that and puts rice back on the menu. Another benefit to this method is the creativity you can take in the spice mixture (e.g. turmeric, smoked paprika), to which others may exclaim it is the best rice they have ever tasted ;)

  • Gary October 10, 2016, 2:37 pm

    I have been using MCT Oil for well over 3 years now and I still occasionally get diarrhea if I use too much or take it on an empty stomach. I take a lot of MCT oil per day, around 100 ml or more, for an Epilepsy condition and I find it keeps me well and seizure free. Like others who have commented here, I like to use MCT oil in my breakfast Bulletproof coffee as part of a Ketogenic diet regime.

    I’m 54 years old and I believe that MCT oil has made a major contribution to my overall health well-being by reducing my risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

  • Joe October 12, 2016, 2:24 am

    I started using MCT oil recently and developed severe reflux, anxiety and a lot of gas. I think I started using too high a dose for me being 1 tbsp on two consecutive days, however I do have a sensitive gut.

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