If I were to identify the single MOST misunderstood health and nutrition topic, it would be cholesterol. Even amongst people that are relatively well versed in health & nutrition, I frequently hear misinformed comments like “I would order the prime rib, but my cholesterol will go through the roof!” or “The doc says my cholesterol is over 200, so I need to lay off the butter and eat a low-fat diet.”
I won’t pretend to be the foremost authority on cholesterol, as it is a complex, evolving, and even controversial topic. Keep in mind I am not an MD or a Ph.D. researcher either. That said, a lot of MDs have less knowledge about cholesterol and nutrition than we would like to believe. And conventional cholesterol beliefs that have been recited for decades are simply WRONG.
While poor diet and lifestyle could be a factor in blood cholesterol levels for some individuals, cholesterol is not the foreboding boogeyman we once thought. In fact, I could go on and on about the important role of cholesterol in our bodies and our health. But I will save that topic for another time. For now, let’s stay focused on debunking the myth. Namely: High cholesterol is NOT a good indicator of heart disease risk. In fact, a recent study of 136,905 patients hospitalized for heart attack show that nearly 75 percent of them had cholesterol levels below the national cholesterol guidelines that indicate a high risk for a cardiovascular event.
Some of my opinions may be a little controversial to medical doctors, but here’s what I can confidently say, with little controversy:
1) A total cholesterol number by itself is NOT a good indicator of cardiovascular health. HDL-to-LDL ratios are a little more helpful. Traditionally, HDL has been considered the “good” cholesterol. So if your HDL to LDL ratio is high, that’s a good sign. A high HDL count also increases total cholesterol count, which is part of the reason why total cholesterol alone not a good indicator of cardiovascular risk.
2) Exercise has been proven to increase HDL levels. Again, this is a good thing.
3) Cholesterol is not entirely bad for us. It’s actually a critical component in hormone production, cell development, and metabolism.
4) Heredity/DNA are a major factor in blood cholesterol levels. Some people simply have naturally higher cholesterol levels than others.
From there it gets a little more controversial, but research is stacking up every day to support these points:
1) Not all LDL cholesterol is “bad” cholesterol. There are actually multiple kinds of LDL: large/buoyant and small/dense. Large/buoyant LDL is good. It transports critical components to our cells via the bloodstream and then returns to the liver, where it gets recycled. Small/dense LDL is the dangerous type of cholesterol that can cause a host of problems (such as inflammation), can get stuck in the arteries, and eventually cause heart disease. Traditional cholesterol tests, called Lipid Panels, do not provide this level of detail. There are a number of providers that will provide these more detailed tests, including a group called LabCorp and another called Quest Diagnostics (Made Man has no affiliation with either). A doctor can order these tests, which are often called Lipo Profile Tests or LPP Tests.
2) The link between saturated fat consumption and increased heart disease risk is questionable at best. There is no a strong correlation of any kind between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. In fact, the human liver produces 1-2 grams of cholesterol every day, which is more than anyone would reasonably ingest in a day.
3) Simple and refined carbohydrates, not saturated fat, seem to be the real dietary link to increased levels of small/dense LDL. If you are concerned about cardiovascular health, you should be much more worried about sugar, white bread and alcohol consumption than saturated fat consumption. In fact, a diet low in sugar and high in saturated fat (such as a keto diet) could be a healthy choice that reduces small/dense LDL levels. However (and this is very important), a diet high in BOTH sugar AND saturated fat may be the worst option when it comes to small/dense LDL levels.
In closing, cholesterol is not the dietary boogeyman. If you have a high total blood cholesterol count, it is not necessarily the terrible news you once would have thought. Furthermore, eating cholesterol or saturated fat does not equal high blood cholesterol levels. Lastly, if there is a dietary boogeyman, it is sugar.
A diet low in sugars/refined carbs, combined with exercise and smart supplementation, are of great benefit to cardiovascular health. Omega-3 is arguably the most important supplement for cardiovascular health, which is why we focus on the Omega-3 content and EPA/DHA ratios in Made Man 360. Research is also uncovering a link between gut health and cardiovascular health. This is one of the reasons we include 20 Billion CFU of Probiotics in Made Man 360 and offer PRO-40 as another source of probiotics.
We will write additional articles about cholesterol in the near future. In the meantime, you can read a little more about the link between probiotics and heart health here.
We’ve written before about Omega-3’s, why they are so important, the benefits, the various sources, etc. But still we have only broken the surface on the topic and the topic certainly deserves both a recap and further exploration.
Omega-3 is often touted as one of the most, if not the most beneficial nutrition supplement, you can take.
So first, what is an Omega-3? It’s an essential fatty acid. Okay, what’s that? Fatty acid molecules combine with glycerol to create fat, and there are fatty acids necessary for bodily functions (i.e.: they're essential). Omega-3 fatty acids derive their name from the three double bonds in their chemical makeup. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized by our bodies, unlike other types of fatty acids. So we need to acquire Omega-3s from our diet or supplementation, and it is difficult to acquire optimal amounts of Omega-3s from diet unless you are very diligent about it.
There are three Omega-3s to discuss: ALA, DHA, and EPA. ALA comes from flax oil and other plant sources. While ALA is very beneficial from a health perspective, DHA and EPA are much more effective and beneficial. That’s because your body converts ALA into EPA and DHA, but it does so inefficiently. Some studies say the efficiency ranges between 8-20%, some say as low as 2-3%. DHA and EPA come from marine animals. The most common source is fish oil, but krill oil is another rich source. Krill Oil is more bioavailable than fish oil, which is why it has become so popular and typically costs more than fish oil. Furthermore, krill oil doesn’t have the fishy aftertaste or burps associated with most fish oil supplements.
What are Krill? They are essentially tiny shrimp. Prior to becoming a popular supplement, they were best known as the food source of baleen whales. Krill are found in the North Pacific Ocean and the Arctic. The particular krill oil that Made Man sources comes from the North Pacific, hence the name Made Man Pacific Krill Oil.
Omega-3 quality: The thing to look for with an Omega-3 supplement, fish or krill-derived, is the DHA/EPA potency. A quality Omega-3 supplement is at least 40% EPA and DHA. So, for example, if you take a 1,000 mg supplement, look for something that has at least 400mg combined of EPA and DHA in it. Made Man Pacific Krill Oil contains 540 mg EPA/DHA per 1,000 mg (54% EPA and DHA). Made Man 360 contains 835 mg EPA/DHA in a 1,430 mg serving (58% EPA and DHA). Also, keep in mind the enhanced bioavailability of krill oil. It depends on the particular fish oil, but krill oil can be up to 40% more bioavailable than fish oil. Not all of the EPA and DHA from any source are going to be 100% available for use, as a result of the digestive process. Say you take a fish oil supplement and you derive 300 mg of usable EPA and DHA from it. If it had been a krill oil supplement, it is likely that there would have been more than 400 mg available for use.
Benefits of Omega-3 and Krill Oil: DHA and EPA offer powerful anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory benefits. Oxidation and inflammation are two of the worst things for your body. They are the precursors of pain and disease. Omega-3 isn’t the cure for cancer and chronic disease, but Omega-3 consumption over the long haul can definitely lead to a healthier and higher quality of life. There are other benefits to Omega-3 supplementation, including improved insulin uptake and muscle protein synthesis, which could equate to less body fat and more muscle. For many years Omega-3 consumption has also been linked to lower risk of heart attack and stroke, two of the biggest causes of death in the western world. Further research needs to be done to determine the exact linkage and what quantities are truly necessary to elicit them, but Omega-3 supplementation does seem to benefit lower triglyceride levels and improved blood circulation, which could help fight atherosclerotic plaque build (aka clogged arteries). DHA is very important to brain health as well. Namely, your brain is 58% DHA by weight!
Another thing to consider when looking at your diet and nutrient consumption is how a particular nutrient effects, enhances or detracts from the absorption of usage of other nutrients. For example, adequate K2 consumption improves Vitamin D3 absorption rates. In regard to Omega-3, the balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 levels is a key metric of nutrition and health. It is a complex topic, but at its core, we should strive to maintain at least a 1:4 balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is our diets. Many argue that a 1:1 ratio is optimal. Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids required for a variety of bodily functions. They are a crucial part of a healthy diet. The problem is that the modern diet contains an excess of Omega-6 and a scarcity of Omega-3. Research indicates that the typical Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio is way out of balance, as much as 1:25… nowhere near the 1:4 or 1:1 benchmarks. The consequences of this imbalance include excessive inflammation (a primary cause of pain and disease).
A BIG reason for the Omega-3 to Omega-6 imbalance is the consumption of processed vegetable oils. They seem to be in everything. For those of us old enough to remember, polyunsaturated fats/vegetable oils were touted in the 1980s and 90s as a way to avoid saturated fat and reduce cholesterol. Oils like canola oil were incorrectly promoted as “heart healthy”. Unfortunately, many people still consider these oils as the healthiest option, when in reality there are health benefits to consuming certain saturated fats, and the real dietary enemy we should have been targeting all along is sugar consumption. But I digress. The point is that there are two things you can do to improve your Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance:
In closing, I believe if there is one change you make in your nutrient consumption, it should be to increase your consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, namely DHA and EPA.
Magnesium is arguably one of the most important nutrients that you can supplement. Magnesium is an essential mineral, meaning that is required for crucial bodily functions and is not produced or synthesized by the body. Therefore, it is necessary to acquire magnesium through diet and supplementation. Even though I am a guy who sells supplements for a living, I always point out that the best place to get your nutrition is via a good diet. However it simply difficult to acquire enough magnesium from diet alone to stay optimized. This is why approximately 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium and why magnesium supplementation is so important.
The typical adult male should get around 400 mg of magnesium in their daily diet and supplementation regimen. Magnesium deficiency has significant health consequences. First, magnesium deficiency is a common cause of lethargy and depression. If someone frequently fatigued and lacks energy and motivation, a savvy doctor will often take a blood test, recognize a magnesium deficiency, and prescribe a magnesium supplement with great effectiveness. Numerous academic and empirical studies in the past ten years have drawn a direct correlation between Magnesium deficiency and depression.
Other consequences of Magnesium deficiency include:
Hopefully, the importance of maintaining a healthy magnesium level is abundantly clear. On to the challenge of acquiring enough magnesium. And it can be a challenge. Part of the reason it is so challenging is the absorption rate (the % your body can absorb and use). Food is the best place to acquire Magnesium, but even with a healthy diet of whole foods, the magnesium absorption rate is often only in the 20-50% range. So if your body quires 400 mg per day to stay optimized, and at best absorbs 50% of the magnesium acquired from food, that means you need to eat 800 mg per day. Leafy green vegetables are the most potent dietary source of magnesium – spinach is one of the best. But a cup of spinach only contains around 150 mg. Lean red meat is a decent source as well. But your typical serving of steak only contains around 60 mg. This is where supplementation becomes beneficial.
However, not all magnesium supplements are created equal. In fact, I would argue that a significant number of the magnesium supplements you find are worthless. These supplements use magnesium oxide as the magnesium source. Magnesium oxide is inexpensive and takes up less volume than many other types of magnesium, which is why it’s used by so many supplement brands. But the absorption rate of magnesium oxide is a dismal 4%... almost none of the magnesium can be absorbed by your body. The rest of it simply passes through your system. Magnesium can have a laxative effect, but the pass-through effect of magnesium oxide can really have you running for the bathroom. Magnesium oxide is worthless as a source of supplemental magnesium with undesirable side effects.
When shopping for an effective magnesium supplement, there is a handful with high absorption rates. Three are at the top of my list: magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium malate. The exact absorption rate can vary by individual and by dietary factors, but compared to the 4% absorption rate of magnesium oxide, the potential absorption rates of these supplements are stellar:
(Source: Daniel J Crisafi, NDA, MH, PhD)
Our flagship supplement, Made Man 360, contains 425 mg of magnesium citrate. That means that even if your diet was nearly devoid of Magnesium, you could absorb as much as 380 to 400 mg from taking a Made Man 360 pack once a day.
One last word on the potential risks of consuming excessive amounts of magnesium… If someone ate a healthy, magnesium-rich diet and also absorbed 380 mg of magnesium every day from Made Man 360, their average daily consumption could easily exceed 400 mg, the recommended daily allowance for an adult male. This is perfectly fine, if not optimal. While there can be undesirable effects from consuming too much magnesium (namely diarrhea, nausea, and low blood pressure), the kidneys are highly effective at removing excess magnesium from the body. If a person has normally functioning kidneys, the risk of a magnesium overdose is extremely low.
Prior to beginning any new supplement regimen, it is best to confer with your physician. Generally speaking, most every man and women will benefit from magnesium supplementation. Just be aware when looking for an effective magnesium supplement that they are far from created equal!
For the last five years or so, Probiotics have been all the rage. Whether it be in the form of fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or in the form nutrition supplements. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health and are especially helpful for your digestive system. Acidophilus is the most common strain of Probiotic, and the key component in the fermentation process used to make yogurt and kefir.
Food is the preferred method to acquire nutrients, and fermentation is how we typically add Probiotics to our diet in modern Western society. Probiotics derived from fermentation are also available in PRO-40, the 40 billion CFU Probiotics supplement from Made Man. Not all of us enjoy yogurt and kombucha, and the potency in a nutrition supplement can be much higher. You can learn more about PRO-40 in this blog article.
But there are other very beneficial Probiotics that are not derived from fermentation. These Probiotics reside in the soil. And we don’t benefit from these Probiotics as regularly as our ancestors. That’s because most of us aren’t farmers working the land every day, and we eat food that is washed thoroughly.
Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not suggesting that you eat unwashed produce. It used to be that most humans worked the land. Dirt was on their hands and in the air they breathed, so they were more apt to ingest the Probiotics that resided in the soil. These particular (and very beneficial) Probiotics are called Bacillus Probiotics. They are technically a spore, and for this reason, they are extremely hardy. They can survive extreme temperatures as well as extremely acidic environments. As a result, when they are used in a nutrition supplement, they don’t need to be shielded from extreme heat, let alone be refrigerated, and they are unaffected by stomach acid. The result: an extremely beneficial Probiotic supplement that is also extremely stable and bioavailable. Some forms of Probiotics are rather delicate, so unless great care and technology are employed, a significant percentage of them can be destroyed before reaching your “gut microbiome.”
“Gut microbiome” is a technical term for the community of bacteria that reside in our upper intestines. Not all of these bacteria are beneficial, but the beneficial ones (referred to as Probiotics), aid in digestion, balance hormone levels, regulate cholesterol and even help regulate brain activity. Just as other elements of our diet, there is a benefit to consuming a diverse range of Probiotics. Since Bacillus Probiotics aren’t regularly part of our diet or lifestyle these days, nutrition supplements are a great source. And that is why the 20 billion CFU Probiotics blend in Made Man 360 consists of Bacillus Probiotics. You can learn more about this blend and take a closer look at the Made Man 360 nutrition panel here.
Bacillus Probiotics are important for maintaining a healthy immune system and improve our response to infections and allergies. Bacillus Probiotics also combat harmful bacteria in the gut and help prevent the overgrowth of bacteria colonies. Lastly, there is even evidence that Bacillus Probiotics battle inflammation and may reduce factors that contribute to cancer and aging! Most of the Probiotics supplements on the market do not include Bacillus Probiotics, but I’m very proud to say that Made Man 360 does. Check it out.
As you may have heard already, we’ve reformulated Made Man 360. In truth, this was more than a reformulation. We started from scratch with the desire to create the absolute best daily nutrition packet for men, with no preconceptions or limitations. The result is an entirely new Made Man 360. We've listened to customer feedback, and Made Man 360 is better than ever, featuring an even better nutrition profile and an all natural orange flavor!
Here are the highlights…
Triple the Omega-3: 1,430 mg with 500 mg EPA and 335 mg DHA.
Natural Orange Flavor: Absolutely no Omega-3 fish oil smell or taste!
20-billion count Probiotics: This is a proprietary blend specifically for men, which also contains Prebiotics!
5,000 IU Vitamin D3: With over 1,000 functions in the body, most men need 3,000 to 5,000 IU each day. Until now, this would have required taking a separate D3 supplement.
425 MG Magnesium: Nearly 90% of which is highly sought-after Magnesium Citrate.
Easy-to-swallow capsules and easy-to-open paper foil packs: No more big tablets to gulp down or fumbling with scissors.
Same price as the original: One-time orders are still $36.99 and monthly subscriptions will still be $29.59.
There are a few ingredients that we reduced in potency or eliminated completely. Calcium is one of them. Emerging research indicates calcium supplementation could cause heart health and kidney stone problems for men. So we eliminated all of it, except for an inconsequential 25 mg that are contributed by other ingredients. Another is Folic Acid. We replaced 800 mg of Folic Acid with 200 mg of Folate (as 5 MTHF). While on the surface this may appear to be a reduction, it’s actually a big enhancement because Folate is exponentially more bioavailable.
An entirely new approach to nutrition supplements...
The first time you open one of the new packets, you may wonder, “Is this right? All the capsules look the same…” That’s because all of the capsules ARE the same.
Instead of giving you multiple tablets for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and green food; softgels for Omega-3 and Vitamin D3; and capsules for Probiotics etc., we created a comprehensive blend that contains EVERYTHING! This blend is then placed in 6 vegetable capsules with a time-released delivery system that allows the nutrients to be absorbed most effectively.
Why 6 capsules? Because that’s how many capsules we needed to deliver the daily nutrition specs we wanted to deliver. Certain nutrients, like Omega-3 and Magnesium Citrate, take up a lot of room! Here’s a snapshot of the individual tablets, softgels, and capsules you would need to take to obtain the same nutrition as one Made Man 360 daily pack:
We’re not done yet...
That is to say, we’ll never be done trying to improve. Made Man 360 was the first product we ever created, and the reason that Made Man Nutrition ever came to be. I wanted the best daily nutrition pack for my core daily nutrition needs. Made Man 360 was created with this single unflinching vision. And we will always strive to make it better. Please reach out to me with your suggestions and feedback – Made Man 360 wouldn’t be what is today without you.
In order to get a performance edge, there are a lot of questionable substances that professional athletes allow into there bodies. Some of them have aren't legal, and some of them are downright dangerous. However, there are other substances that professional athletes use that are both safe and legal. One of the most common yet seemingly overlooked options, when everyday athletes are looking to up their performance, is B12 supplementation.
B12 is an essential vitamin that is proven to boost energy levels and metabolism. In sufficient doses, it’s analogous to hooking up nitrous to a car engine. No, your sprinting times won’t be notably faster, but your energy levels can go through the roof. That’s why professional athletes often use B12 prior to competition. For example, professional boxers used to get intramuscular B12 shots prior to fights, particularly if they felt over trained or under the weather. If you want to have more energy prior to a run or a trip to the gym, you can benefit from the same B12 supplementation.
I know what you’re thinking… “Are you suggesting I give myself a shot prior to going to the gym?!” Of course not. However, you can get way more benefit from a shot than a pill. The problem with supplementing B12 with a pill is that the absorption rate (i.e. the percentage of B12 that actually makes it to your bloodstream so that you can benefit from it) is very low.
The good news is that there is a way to attain the same B12 absorption rate without jabbing yourself with a needle. The solution is sublingual supplementation. That is to say, there are special formulations of B12 that you can place under your tongue. The B12 is absorbed by the soft membrane tissue under your tongue and is delivered directly to your bloodstream, with the same high absorption rate as a shot of B12.
The old saying “No pain, no gain” definitely has its place in the world of athletics and fitness. But not in this case. Now we can all enjoy the benefits of a B12 shot without the need for a shot in the arm. Sublingual supplementation is typically available in liquid dropper form and lozenges. Personally, I prefer the liquid. It’s easier to take, and the lozenges can degrade and get sticky over time in my experience. Made Man Nutrition offers a liquid form of sublingual vitamin B12 with a pleasant cherry flavor and 1200 mcg of B12 – that’s 20,000% of the FDA Daily Value. There are other very good options on the market, but this is a great product, and the price is right.
One last thing to note: Because vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin; it is very difficult to overdose on it, either in a single dose or overtime. Obviously, be smart and cautious about everything you put in your body. And talk to your doctor if you have health-related concerns like heart disease or high blood pressure before adding any new health or fitness routines to your lifestyle.
Every now and then I’ll overhear someone talking about their new health and fitness regimen. Maybe they’ve started a new workout program, or they are trying to eat clean, or they have just started taking nutritional supplements. “Yeah, I started doing XYZ a few weeks ago. I really don’t feel any different though.”
Well, of course not! When it comes to healthy habits, there are no silver bullets. A gym schedule, a healthy diet, and smart nutritional supplementation are lifestyle decisions with benefits that are seen over the long haul. They are not overnight miracles. If someone tries to sell you a diet that will magically shave 30 pounds in 30 days or a workout plan that is supposed to turn you into Wolverine in a month, they are scamming you. Likewise, there isn’t a pill or a powder that is going to improve your health and longevity in an instant.
True, there are some supplements with short-term desirable effects. For example, B12 gives you a boost of energy prior to a workout. And some nootropics can improve your mental sharpness for a few hours. But the lasting, life-changing stuff takes time. Look at it this way: Will eating donuts and pizza for a week wreck your health? Probably not. But what if you subsist on donuts and pizza for decades? It is MUCH more likely that your health will be compromised. Likewise, the lifestyle habit of taking healthy supplements such as Omega 3s and Vitamin D3 that will reap rewards. Over the long term, your health and longevity are very likely to be better than they would be if you didn’t consume those supplements. It’s that simple.
Keep in mind, nutritional supplements are just what their name implies: supplemental. They are not a replacement for a healthy diet. Outside of genetics, a healthy diet is likely the most important factor in your health and longevity. Supplementation helps fill in the gaps and makes it easier to consume optimal levels of particular nutrients.
Whether you get your nutritional supplements from Made Man or from another source, just remember that the benefits of supplementation are reaped with time and good habits. This is why Made Man offers a subscription option when purchasing nutritional supplements. It’s much easier to turn something into a long-term habit if it shows up in your mailbox every month without you having to even think about it.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: “Experts say if you only take one supplement, it should be Omega-3.” Supplement sources of Omega-3 include fish oil, krill oil, and flax oil. Krill oil is my favorite because of its higher absorption rates. I’m not the biggest fan of flax oil because it is less stable and easily oxidized by light or temperature. But I digress. Who are these experts anyway? And why are they touting Omega-3?
If you’re roaming the Internet, there are lots of supposed “experts” who may or may not offer value. I’m interested in what physicians and biomedical scientists have to say. If anything, I’m most interested in what the biomedical scientists say, as they sometimes have a deeper understanding of nutrition.
From a biomedical perspective, the experts tout Omega-3 supplements because of two main ingredients: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA and EPA offer powerful anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory benefits. Oxidation and inflammation are two of the worst things for your body. They are the precursors of pain and disease, including cancer. In my opinion, this is why the experts tout Omega-3s, and rightfully so. The majority of people do not get adequate amounts of these fatty acids in their diet. And if you aren’t getting enough from your diet, supplementation makes sense.
There are other benefits to Omega-3 supplementation, including improved insulin uptake and muscle protein synthesis, which could equate to less body fat and more muscle. For many years Omega-3 consumption has also been linked to lower risk of heart attack and stroke, two of the biggest causes of death in the western world. Further research needs to be done to determine the exact linkage and what quantities are truly necessary to elicit them, but Omega-3 supplementation does seem to benefit lower triglyceride levels and improved blood circulation, which could help fight atherosclerotic plaque build (aka clogged arteries).
In closing, keep in mind that not all Omega-3 supplements are created equal. FDA regulation isn’t all that strict. You want to make sure your supplement comes from a trusted source so you are getting a pure Omega-3 that doesn’t contain fillers and has been lab tested to ensure heavy metals like mercury have been removed.
Turmeric and its primary ingredient, Curcumin, offer some really impressive brain and immunity benefits. Turmeric may help in the fight against Alzheimer’s, it’s got some impressive anti-microbial characteristics, and it’s a potent anti-inflammatory (inflammation being a major cause and concern for both disease or pain).
Arguably the most exciting and promising benefit of Turmeric is its cancer-fighting potential. In fact, Turmeric/Curcumin appears to be capable fighting just about every type of cancer. This is a pretty amazing thing, considering that there is such a wide variety causes and effects of cancer. The reason why Turmeric/Curcumin is so adept and universal is that it can target and affect cells via a variety of molecular pathways, often using multiple pathways.
Once it gets into a cell, the Curcumin molecule appears to increase beneficial processes and inhibit harmful processes that result in some potent anti-cancer activity. Furthermore, Curcumin seems to selectively target cancer cells and does not adversely affect healthy cells.
Further research is obviously needed. And Turmeric alone isn’t the cure for cancer. But the promise is, well, really promising. If you want to jump on the Turmeric train, I encourage you to try out Made Man High Potency Turmeric.
First off, I love coconut oil. It tastes great. It can be used in place of other fats in cooking, either to change the flavor profile or to replace a less desirable ingredient. Although you shouldn’t get it as hot as other cooking oils, so don’t try frying an egg using the über heat setting on your stove. You can also use it in place of skin moisturizer or even hair conditioner. And it also tastes pretty tasty in coffee. Okay, you get it. I likes me the coconut oil.
But the point of this blog is to provide a nutritional overview coconut oil and its relationship to MCTs, as well as simply explain what these things are.
SPOILER: There is also a plot twist toward the end of the story.
So what is are MCTs you ask? MCTs are medium chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are also referred to as fatty acids. There are medium and long chain fatty acids. Chain length references the number of carbons chained together in a fatty acid. The medium chain variety consists of 6 to 12 carbons. There are four MCTs: Caproic Acid (C6), Caprylic Acid (C8), Capric Acid (C10) and Lauric Acid (C12). And our friend coconut oil happens to be the richest natural source of MCTs.
The metabolic benefits of MCTs are what get bodybuilders, dieters and endurance athletes so excited. The shorter chain length makes it easier for your body to absorb MCTs and does not require the complicated digestive processes used to metabolize conventional fats. MCTs are transported directly from the small intestine to the liver. With little effort, the liver then turns some of the MCTs into ketone bodies, which our muscles can use for energy. Some MCTs are used for thermogenesis (i.e.: burned to create body heat), and the rest is converted to ATP, the energy currency of our bodies. In summary: MCTs = muscle, thermogenesis, and energy. Due to the liver’s efficient processing of MCTs, there is little to nothing left to be stored as fat.
In addition to the metabolic benefits, MCTs have been linked to a number of wellness benefits, including:
Which brings us to the interesting twist in this little story... Remember how I said that coconut oil is the richest source of MCTs? Coconut oil contains all four MCTs, with Lauric Acid (C12) being the most prevalent. Therefore, coconut oil is also the richest available source of Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid is arguably the most beneficial of the MCTs due to its brain function and improved immune system benefits. Other MCTs don’t offer nearly the same level of benefits.
Here’s the kicker: for a premium, you can purchase pure MCT oil, which is touted as being better than coconut oil because all of the non-MCT fatty acids are removed during the manufacturing process. It’s all MCTs all the time. BUT, the manufacturing process removes almost all of the Lauric Acid because it is at the top of the carbon chain count. That’s right, if you spend the extra money on MCT oil versus coconut oil, you’re missing out on all of the Lauric Acid C12 goodness.
This isn’t to say MCT oil is bad. It’s still good stuff. It’s simply not better than coconut oil. In fact, it’s arguably less beneficial. And if you happen to be eating it, coconut oil actually tastes good. MCT oil has little to no flavor, and a lower burning point as well. So there you have it. For my dollar, it’s coconut oil all day. Made Man Nutrition offers an easy-to-take Coconut Oil supplement if you would like to add some more MCTs and Lauric Acid to your daily diet.