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Formulating Supplements With MCTs
The recent resurgence of the keto diet has brought on an interest in all things fat. This includes nutritional products and supplements that deliver a punch of high-fat goodness to help meet daily macro needs. But not all fats deliver the goods. There’s a large focus on the use of good fat sources such as polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and high-energy fats such as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). If you’re formulating high-fat, keto or other sports nutrition products that include fats, consider choosing a fat that not only provides fat calories but also packs extra health and performance benefits. This article will review how and why certain MCTs should be your formulation fat of choice. If you’re an athlete or simply looking to maximize performance, you’ve no doubt heard of MCTs. But it’s important to understand that there are different types of MCT oil sources that have vastly different effects in your body.
Coconut Oil vs. Different Grades of MCT Oil
Researchers compared the ketogenic effects of various supplements containing MCTs. One study compared the ketogenic effects of coconut oil (3% MCT C8, 5% MCT C10), typical MCT oil (55% MCT C8, 35% MCT C10), caprylic acid triglycerides (95% MCT C8), capric acid triglycerides (95% MCT C10), coconut oil plus MCT C8 and MCT C10 and, finally, coconut oil plus MCT C8.1 Blood was tested every 30 minutes for the concentration of ketones. Results showed that the caprylic acid triglycerides (95% MCT C8) had the highest ketogenicity, delivering the highest level of plasma ketone—813% to 870% higher than control values. This was also found to be 300% higher levels of plasma ketone than coconut oil, 255% higher than capric acid triglycerides (95% MCT C10) and 21% to 26% higher than regular MCTs.1 This study showed that C8 has the highest net ketogenic effects when comparing different MCT supplements.NNB Nutrition is a cutting-edge ingredient manufacturer that supplies some of the top supplement companies in the world with the highest quality source of MCT powders commercially available under its C8Vantage brand. Look for this branded form of MCTs on the labels of your favorite supplements as it contains 95% C8 MCTs, which is the exact same amount of C8 tested in this study. It also contains no maltodextrin, which is a hidden ingredient found in cheaper MCT powders, gainers, bars, MRPs and protein powders with added MCTs.
Why Formulating with Fats Is Good
At one time, fats had a stigma when it came to the diet. They were stripped from most foods to make way for the low-carb lifestyle. Fast-forward to the present day, and we now know that this approach isn’t validated. Fats play an essential role in the diet and are as important as every other macronutrient—maybe even more important. Fats are needed in hormone regulation, they keep the brain functioning optimally, and they’re needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Today, consumers are more open to eating a higher fat diet or a ketogenic diet. These diets have been shown to have many health benefits when it comes to improvements in brain performance, endurance, body composition and metabolic changes including lowering blood glucose levels and improving satiety.
A ketogenic diet can switch the body from using its primary energy source, glucose, to using ketones to fuel the brain and organs of the body. Ketogenic diets have become a major opportunity for the development of nutritional products and supplements that can support this lifestyle choice.
In fact, the global ketogenic diet food market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.52% during the forecast period 2022 to 2027.2 One of the biggest drivers of this market is the ever-increasing global obesity problem and the demand for better nutritional options. High-fat and low-carb nutritional products formulated with nuts, nut butters and oils are preferable, including ones formulated with MCTs.
Enhance Nutritional Benefits with MCTs
MCTs’ unique structure allows for quicker and direct absorption into the blood stream and transportation to where they’re needed in the body, including the brain and muscle.3 The unique structure of MCTs allows for more efficient energy utilization by the body and makes them far less likely to be stored as fat. They can also help regulate energy expenditure and fat oxidation and help reduce hunger, making them an even more desirable product when it comes to the diet and weight-loss industry.4 This is particularly true for the development of ketogenic products.
MCTs are a group of various medium chain lengths. Of these, one has been shown to be the most effective when it comes to ketogenicity: C8, also known as caprylic acid. In fact, it has been shown to be four times more effective than other MCTs at raising beta-oxidation and ketogenicity.5 The ketogenic effects of various MCTs were compared. The results showed that the 95% C8 MCT had the highest ketogenicity, delivering 300% higher level of plasma ketones compared to other MCTs, including coconut oil.1NNB Nutrition C8Vantage is made from a sustainably sourced palm kernel oil, 95% pure C8 that uses a proprietary technology that removes most of the C10 and C12, as well as long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are slow burning. This ensures a fast-digesting, highly ketogenic product to help increase satiety, reduce energy intake and enhance exercise performance.
C8Vantage Improves Taste Profile & Creaminess
When it comes to developing flavorful nutrition products, fat delivers. It helps enhance mouthfeel creaminess and flavor profile, no matter if it’s added to a keto creamer, energy bar or protein powder product. C8Vantage is a vegan-friendly, 100% non-GMO powder, plated on prebiotic tapioca fibre and pea protein. As an option for some formulators, NNB Nutrition also offers a dairy protein version of C8Vantage using milk protein instead of pea protein.
If you’re formulating ketogenic products, using C8Vantage will help keep carbs low, increase fat content and improve the overall nutritional quality of the product. This is unlike most traditional MCT powders, which are made with maltodextrin, which is known to substantially raise blood glucose levels and isn’t suitable for ketogenic diets. As mentioned, C8Vantage uses contains a tapioca fibre (instead of maltodextrin) which doesn’t affect blood glucose or insulin, enabling optimal ketone production.
C8Vantage MCTs Are Ideal for Vegan/Plant Protein Powders
C8Vantage’s unique vegan carrier system is especially great when mixed with vegan/plant protein powders, delivering that creaminess that you can only get with milk or whey protein blends. In addition, C8Vantage’s tapioca fibre and pea protein carrier provides not only more protein but also a source of fibre.
Formulating Protein Bars with C8Vantage
The continued growth and innovation of the bar market has resulted in a surgency of all kinds of protein bars and bites, with new ingredients that offer something for any diet option.
In a report by Packaged Facts in 2017 called “US Retail Market Trends and Opportunities,” of the 39% of consumers who buy nutrition bars, 67% want high-protein content, 53% seek low-sugar levels, half want high fibre and 36% are looking for healthy fat options.5Thus, it’s important to stand out in the bar market with unique ingredients that deliver not only bulk but also nutritional value. C8Vantage can help provide a good source of fats, an improved nutrient profile, bulk, fibre, and enhanced flavor and texture, and it can even keep the bar softer for longer.
When developing protein bars, it’s important to keep moisture content low. This ensures longer shelf life and a softer bar. The tapioca fibre in C8Vantage may help to bind and lock water in. This can help prevent a bar from hardening. Anyone who’s formulated a protein bar or just eaten a few knows that, in time, almost all protein bars get harder. By adding functional fats such as C8Vantage to a protein bar, you’re able to soften them up, improve the taste profile and keep them moist over time.
Offset the Rising Cost of Sunflower Oil & Sunflower Lecithin
In addition to the high nutritional value C8Vantage can offer, it also makes a great substitute for other ingredients, including sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin. Because of recent circumstances in Ukraine, the cost of sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin have gone through the roof. C8Vantage provides an economical alternative to these oil products and emulsifiers. But oils aren’t the only ingredient that’s drastically increased in price. Protein prices have also gone way up, and availability has become challenging, to say the least! C8Vantage contains pea protein (which forms the powder itself) that can boost the total protein content of any supplement to which it’s added, while also adding a serving of keto-friendly fats and fibre to formulations.
C8Vantage: The Perfect Formula Addition
Adding C8Vantage to any bar, whey or vegan protein, or creamer product will not only provide ketogenic benefits but also provide you with an effective, tasty and fibre-rich product to help meet daily fat needs. This also helps provide a high source of energy, improve athletic performance, and increase fat oxidation and calorie burning through ketone production, and may even improve cognitive function.
Adding an 8- to 10-gram serving of C8Vantage to formulations is all that’s needed to improve the nutritional value and experience the ketogenic benefits. In addition to C8Vantage, NNB Nutrition also offers other innovative ingredients to help support ketone production and lower blood glucose levels, including GlucoVantage and KetoVantage.
For more information on NNB Nutrition, C8Vantage or any of its other high-quality ingredients, visit nnbnutrition.com.
- Vandenberghe C, St Pierre V, Pierotti T, et al. Tricaprylin alone increases plasma ketone response more than coconut oil or other medium-chain triglycerides: an acute crossover study in healthy adults. Curr Dev Nutr. 2017 Mar 22;1(4):e000257. doi: 10.3945/cdn.116.000257.
- The Ketogenic Diet Food Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts. 2022 – 27. MordorIntelligence.com. Accessed April 21, 2022.
- Papamandjaris AA, MacDougall DE, Jones PJ. Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications. Life Sci. 1998;62(14):1203-15. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(97)01143-0.
- Wang Y, Liu Z, Han Y, et al. Medium Chain Triglycerides enhances exercise endurance through the increased mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 8;13(2):e0191182. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191182.
- Nutritional Shakes and Bars: US Retail Market Trends and Opportunities. Packagedfacts.com. Published Nov 20, 2017. Accessed April 21, 2022.