MCT Oil for Dogs: CocoTherapy
You’ll notice in our own tinctures, as well as many others, that MCT oil is one of the main ingredients, in addition to the CBD. Why would MCT oil be incorporated into the product? What are the benefits of MCT oil for dogs? Coconut oil is made of saturated fat, so it seems like we would want to steer clear. However, while saturated fats are generally considered bad fats, not all saturated fats are the same. While most saturated fats are comprised of long chain fatty acids, MCTs differ in their carbon length.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT, or medium-chain-triglycerides, contain medium-length fat chains. Due to their short length, they are easily digestible and assist with the absorption of nutrients. They also contain beneficial acids known as lauric, capric, caprylic, myristic, and palmitic acids.
MCT oil is commonly extracted from coconut oil; 63% of the fat in coconut oil contains MCTs. It can also be found in palm oil and various dairy products.
MCT and CBD
MCT oil protects CBD from being completely broken down by the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream. CBD is fat-soluble and is known to be most effective when it’s taken with saturated fats. MCT acts as the vehicle to transport CBD where it needs to go to help the body.
Once CBD reaches the liver, it’s broken down into very small components that are not used effectively in the body. MCT carries most of the CBD into the bloodstream so it’s not damaged by metabolic processes.
The goal of a high-quality CBD tincture is to have high bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the efficiency with which a therapeutic compound is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is important because it affects how much to give in one dose, and how quickly your pet can feel the effects.
Benefits of MCT Oil for Dogs
MCT isn’t only beneficial as a carrier for CBD. MCT carries a wide range of benefits to your pet. Compared to other fats, MCTs are absorbed faster and are more likely to be utilized as a source of energy, rather than stored as fat. The rapid use of MCT by the body makes it an excellent source of energy for the brain. In fact, MCTs have been shown to be effective in enhancing cognitive function in both senior dogs and humans.
According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, “the cognitive assessment data showed that the performance of the MCT-supplemented group was superior to that of control group in the land-1 and land-2 tasks, and the egocentric learning and reversal task and on the variable object components of the attention protocol.” The study went on to state “the present study shows that supplementation of MCT in aging dogs can significantly increase blood ketone body concentrations under fed conditions and improve age-related decline in cognitive function by providing an alternative source of brain energy in old healthy dogs. The MCT-containing diet had no adverse effects on CBC and blood chemistry.”
In addition to serving as food for the brain, researchers have found benefits of MCT oil for dogs with seizures, as well as reduction of gastrointestinal inflammation, and as effective antimicrobial and antibacterial agents.
They are also useful in cancer therapy. Due to their ease-of-digestibility, they provide cancer patients with excellent nutrition that supports not just one but many body systems.
Increasing Shelf Life
Not only does a lack of MCT decrease the quality of the tincture, but a tincture that doesn’t contain MCT is known not to last as long as one that does. We want to keep our high-quality, full-spectrum CBD oil as long as possible. But, like other natural products, there is an approximate amount of time that can pass before it’s labeled as no longer viable. At CBD Dog Health, our products (they do contain MCT) remain viable for approximately two years when unopened. Once they have been opened, we recommend a shelf life of one year.
Two sisters, Charisa Antigua and Carmina O’ Connor, began an organically-grown, pure coconut oil producing organization. On our podcast, ‘It’s A Dog’s Life with Angela Ardolino’, we had the pleasure of speaking with the founders. We are happy to utilize CocoTherapy’s coconut oil in our salves and their MCT in our tinctures.
The founders own a USDA-certified organic and non-GMO verified farm and facility in the Philippines. They produce all of their coconut oil from start to finish using techniques they learned from their grandmother. Charissa and Carmina come from three generations of a coconut-producing family.
Like CBD oil, not all coconut oil is created equal. There are certain aspects a potential buyer should look for. Are they 100% organically grown? Can it be traced back to the farm? While traceability is extremely difficult (if not impossible) for many commercially produced coconut oils, CocoTherapy Virgin Coconut Oil and MCT Oils are 100% certified organic and Non-GMO Verified, with a lot # assigned to every batch produced. This enables every batch to be traced back to its crop of origin whenever necessary.
The levels of beneficial acids must also be very high in order to be scientifically therapeutic. This is accomplished not only via the processing methods, but by the type of coconuts used and harvesting schedules as well.
According to Ms. Antigua, “coconuts take 12 months to ripen on a tree, but a lot of companies harvest their coconuts too early, after three or four months.” She continued to explain, “you won’t get all of the nutrients if the coconut was removed from the tree prior to ripening. Our coconuts are also freshly grated and wet-milled, and the coconut milk is pressed from fresh coconuts. A lot of other coconut oils are made from dry coconuts, which are stored and sent to facilities hundreds of miles away, and then they rehydrate them with water and then make the oil with the coconuts that were rehydrated. Which means they are made with diluted coconut milk and are rehydrated with possibly contaminated water.”
Following the launch of CocoTherapy in 2009, Antigua and O’Connor have continued to teach others about the importance of therapeutic-grade coconut oil. You can learn more about their process by listening to the podcast here.
Every component in our tinctures is included to further benefit your pet. MCT oil is one of the main critical ingredients to act as a carrier for CBD, for overall health and well-being, and for antimicrobial/antibacterial purposes. MCT increases the bioavailability of our products to ensure your pet receives the most effective, therapeutic tincture.