Diarrhea From MCT Oil – Why Having “Disaster Pants” Is Not as Funny as It Sounds

Diarrhea From MCT Oil – Why Having "Disaster Pants" Is Not as Funny as It Sounds

Issues Ingesting Coconut Oil, MCT Oil, Brain Octane Oil? Here Is Why and How to Change It.

I’ll never forget the first time I tried MCT oil. It was the time of kale shakes, and I decided to replace my coconut oil with MCT oil. I used roughly the same volume, and it caused me to take my first day off of work in over a decade. I spent an hour in the bathroom and took a four-hour nap. At the time, I could not put the pieces together. I did not link the MCT to the digestive problems, and thought it was the flu, or something else, so when I woke up from my nap, feeling much better, I decided to eat something healthy to recover, so I made another kale shake with MCT oil. The second time, I figured it out.

Why does MCT Oil cause stomach discomfort?

There are a few reasons why MCT oil causes diarrhea. First, MCT oil contains triglycerides that are unusual, in that they can be metabolized without liver transport. 1 Normally, when you consume a coconut, you are getting a variety of macronutrients, and most of them require enzymes to cleave apart hydrogen bonds to simplify them for metabolism. With MCT oil, the eight and ten chain fatty acids can undergo beta-oxidation immediately meaning that your cells can break them down for energy without help from the liver. 2 When you take a bolus (a high quantity of a compound, medication, or substance consumed orally) of MCT oil, it acts as an irritant and physiological mechanisms are triggered to flush the gut.

Secondly, many brands of MCT oil source their products from the cosmetic industry. 3 The cosmetic industry is primarily interested in the C12, lauric acid component of coconut oil, and supplement companies can buy the C8, and C10 oils at a bargain price. Since the lauric acid was not intended to be consumed internally, the cosmetic industry may use harsh chemicals to extract the oils. These chemicals, like hexane, are very irritating to the gut lining. 4 Lastly, C8, caprylic acid is highly antimicrobial. It can eliminate many species of yeast and bacteria on contact. When yeast and bacteria are exposed to caprylic acid, they undergo lysis and spill open creating an immune response that irritates the gut. 5 6

What’s the big deal?

Is a little stomach discomfort so bad from too much, or poor quality MCT oil? The truth is that there is more damage being done than just an upset stomach and diarrhea. When the epithelium of the digestive tract becomes irritated in such a way, the body responds by flushing the irritant out. To be able to cause rapid dumping, the epithelial cells must expand to let in the fluid consisting of water and ClO. 7 Unfortunately, harmful materials called endotoxin will pass from the gut lining into the bloodstream. This is, to a much smaller degree, what people experience when they undergo sepsis. It is not immediately life threatening, but it does over time causes inflammation to the internal organs and vascular system.

What can I do to prevent damage from MCT oil?

  1. C8 fatty acids are less irritating on the gut than other MCTs. Try and find a product that has a high percentage of C8, or better yet, pure C8 like Brain Octane Oil.
  2. Get a high-quality product that has not been extracted from the cosmetic industry and has been manufactured for oral consumption.
  3. Consume your MCT oil with a little bit of protein to reduce the bolus effect.
  4. Sometimes less is more. Do you need to take in two tablespoons of MCT oil at once?

Did you know that MCT oil is not the only substrate that can cause bolus like digestive distress? Large quantities of fructose, some minerals, and some pure amino acids can do the same. 8 9 10 11 If you are getting “disaster pants” you need to stop!  It is not only hard on your gut: but it is also hard on your body.

Have problems with disaster pants? Join the discussion on the Fix Your Gut Forums!

  1. My husband has ALZ and my son came for a visit specifically to try his Dad on Bullet Coffee. To all of our amazement, his cognition has improved dramatically and he is a nicer person to have around. On the rare days that we get rushed or I find that he has forgotten to drink it, he has been much more forgetful, more anxious and harder to deal with. So, we have dealt with the diarehhia accidents, as it was worth it. As a side line, he lost 80 lbs. in 9 months. But these “accidents” are getting old and I always have clothes soaking to get stains out. I can’t stop. He does have breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries before his drink. He has two tablespoons of MCT oil in his hot chocolate every morning – I add Hershey syrup to it to make it more appealing.

    • Here are some of the things that are being done wrong that cause the diarrhea:

      1. Bulletproof Coffee is part of the Ketogenic lifestyle. Anything you eat or drink must have VERY little to zero carbs. And strictly NO sugars except Stevia or Erythritol.

      a. Therefor Oatmeal and Blueberries in the morning are bad choices because the oatmeal and blueberries are full of carbs, and the blueberries are full of sugar, (15g of sugar to 1 cup of blueberries for example)… That alone will give you diarrhea due to the high level of sugars.

      2. 2 Tablespoons of MCT oil is overkill for anybody except bodybuilders ands they have to spread it out to 2 1 tablespoon doses throughout the day. And they have to follow the ketogenic rules to keep sugar and carbs down when drinking bulletproof coffee or tea also. Especially if the person is elderly, anything more than maybe an 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon of MCT oil will cause inflammation and disrupt their digestive process, over time it will cause a lot of damage internally, and at 2 tablespoons in hot chocolate of all things is dangerous. MCT oil is for coffee, tea, and homemade ketogenic hot cocoa made from pure cacao powder (not cocoa powder, there is a difference) plus all the other keto ingredients such as butter, MCT oil and Cinnamon.

      Hot chocolate is all sugar and artificial milk chocolate powder which is also mostly sugar on top of Blueberries and Hershey syrup!! Hershey syrup is NOT part of bulletproof drinks and is adding a ton more sugar. All artificial to be even worse!!

      This poor guy is taking in an insane amount of sugar and carbs, and a huge dose of MCT oil just in his morning… How he is not in the hospital is mind blowing!! No wonder his clothes are paying the price. All that sugar and carbs and fake chocolate powder and syrup plus a huge amount of MCT oil is going to destroy his gut and digestive tissues rapidly over time. This must stop ASAP because older people’s bodies cannot handle such extreme shock from those poorly matched foods on top of a botched attempt at “Bulletproof” hot chocolate… basically a 100% artificially sweetened sugar bomb with blueberries to bat.

      3. That 80 lbs. of weight loss is not good weight loss as he is being stripped away of the body’s natural nutrients and “good bacterias” that are crucial for gut health and diminishes over time as a person ages, imagine how much he must be suffering inside and not even know it. The diarrhea is the killing of all the good bacteria and the toxins in his body accumulating so much to the point that the body literally has to do a “mass dump” of everything in the gut to purge the toxins out of the body in a desperate attempt to cleanse the insides, hence the diarrhea. All the good enzymes and vitamins and things in the body get removed also, causing him to get more and more sick over time as his gut cannot clean toxins out of his body nor his liver and all the “good bacteria” is dead and flushed out of the body and not being replaced.

      4. The MCT oil you are using may be made in a lab and is therefore synthetic and not pure from Coconut oil so it contains harsh chemicals that are poisonous. Using pure Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut oil or Pure MCT oil that is of high quality should be a priority if attempting to make bulletproof drinks and NO sugars or carbs should be present both during consumption of said drinks and also throughout the day. The ketogenic lifestyle is high on fat, low on protein, and intended to eliminate sugar and carbs as much as possible, everything you wrote above that you are doing is the total opposite and that is why he is having accident pants frequently as all that stuff is literally weakening his body’s organs and digestive system which is ruining his overall health from all the toxins in his body, if he is having diarrhea regularly, that is the body telling you it’s full of poison and those accidents are the body’s desperate attempt to flush the toxins out. Please have mercy on him and stop doing all of those thing ASAP.

      Oatmeal= carbs, Blueberries= carbs and tons of sugar (the kind that gives you diarrhea with or without MCT oil), 2 Tablespoons of MCT oil EVERYDAY, killing his from the inside out (not being dramatic either), hot chocolate (cocoa powder, sugar, and artificial additives, use Cacao powder instead, Google it), Hershey Syrup= 100% sugar and artificial flavor made from chemicals and too many carbs and other additives.

      Not a healthy way to start the day. His cognitive functions are heightened from the MCT oil but at a dangerous level which is why the days when he doesn’t have the “bulletproof hot chocolate” he is the total opposite and the body is now in withdrawal from all the sugar and carbs and MCT oil…

      I hope some of this information if not all is helpful in understanding why he has accident pants and diarrhea regularly when drinking the MCT oil in the hot chocolate, in this case the Bad outweighs the Good so continuing to feed him all those things will destroy him when he is older as his body beco0mes weaker and cannot handle processing all that sugar and chemicals and toxins and so on. Also, it would be a good idea for him to go tot he doctor and find out if he has any damage already to his internal organs and if so, how bad is it so it can be treated right away, as the inflammation will cause discomfort and diarrhea as long as it exists in the body, especially with him already having ALZ. I’m not a doctor but I am a Psychologist and I have been researching this bulletproof drink and MCT oil for awhile and I too have had the diarrhea and accident pants and hope that maybe I can help someone else cope with that unpleasant event as well.

      SIDEBAR: To fix what you’re already doing, cut out the carbs and sugars, no oatmeal and blueberries, and just a tiny bit of MCT oil in Coffee or Tea (Blended in a blender, DO NOT stir, it will causer the oil to separate and he will diarrhea so fast). No Hershey syrup, that in itself is a Diabetic’s nightmare, and also no fake hot chocolate, if you want to do the hot cocoa that’s fine, just google a homemade keto bulletproof hot cocoa recipe, they will definitely emphasize using CACAO powder and not Cocoa powder. Any drink that is “Bulletproof or will contain butter and MCT oil MUST be blended ALWAYS!! There’s lots of different versions of keto/bulletproof drinks online and they will be helpful. Never just stir it, this is vital or diarrhea and other stomach problems are 100% eminent. I hope this helped. God bless your husband and all of your family. When made properly these drinks do give you tons of energy and improves cognitive functions as well as brain functions as well. Cheers!

      I wish you and your family good health and a prosperous 2019!!

      • Reading your response, I’m curious. I’ve recently did a low carb diet along with a boot camp. After 10 weeks, I lost 3 pounds and strangely my sugar level hit an all time high. I did a dna test which said the I had genes that pointed towards high sensitivity to caffeine and that A Mediterranean diet was the diet recommended based on my dna. So I bought a glucose testing kit and started checking my fasting glucose. Days that I ate protein during 3 meals, even when mixed with carbs and fat, my fasting glucose was pre-diabetes to just at the verge of being declared type 2. Days that i stuck to maybe an egg for breakfast, fish for lunch, and no protein for dinner, maybe a salad or homemade pizza, my sugar leve was in the low 90’s. I’ve been losing 1-2 pounds a week without trying and all of my inflammation has disappeared. Someone yesterday told me about the bulletproof coffee and I had to try it. I’ve ordered the bulletproof octane but used a high quality oil referred by the girl that told me about it. I was hungrier than usual and so I had to eat a snack within an hour of taking the drink. Caffine has always done this to me which seems to be the opposite of what people say. So I was hungrier than usual, my snack was a some naan with hummus and olives. I got the worse case of diarrhea a couple hours after. My sugar level was 94 this morning. Started reading that it’s fairly normal to get the diarrhea the first day or two but just in case I’m gonna wait for the bulletproof octane to try that. I’m just wondering if my snack is what helped cause it. Maybe I should just do the egg and veggies with the coffee and still end the day without protein. I may just not be cut out for coffee. I am going to try again though.

      • Thank you so much for your response! It has helped me profoundly and spared me from an actual disaster pants situation. Your explanation makes good sense, I appreciate the details. I may suggest my mother gives it a try to help with dementia!

      • You advice is so helpful!

      • The “Keto’ lifestyle is a ridiculous and dangerous FAD. Studies have shown repeatedly that both low and high carb diets lead to increased MORTALITY, with moderate carb diets coming out on top.

        Google is your friend.

  2. This has same effect on me…first cramping followed by huge laxative effect…..I was wondering if it was my body make up or ethnicity. I tried buillet proof coffee today and returned bottle of MCT.

  3. After reading all these posts I am wondering why even take MCT oil, if it causes so many problems? I started drinking bulletproof coffee about two weeks ago on the advice of a naturopath, but just half a teaspoon causes me to have loose stools. Perhaps I should stop taking any?

  4. The only MCT oil I have had no issues with is nutiva organic MCT. I’ve used it extensively at the beginning of fasts.

  5. I put the teaspoon under my tongue and wait one minute to swallow. That helps me to completely eliminate the GI issues.

    Saliva has an enzyme called ‘lypase’ which starts the digestion of the MCT making it very gentle to the stomach once is there. Wait until it gets foamy in your mouth before swallow (aprox 1 minute) also it has a very nice coconut flavour.

    • This seems like a good idea
      I wonder why it wasn’t mentioned in the article

  6. I tried putting about a teaspoon of Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil in my coffee, and, although I would not have any runs, I would still feel bad stomach cramps. Does this mean that the C8 in Brain Octane is killing off Candida/yeast overgrowth? If not, why am I feeling bad stomach cramps? Should I discontinue using the product or try less than a teaspoon and take more time building up on it? Thanks for your time.

  7. I drink coffee every morning made with instant espresso powder, bone broth protein powder, Ghirardelli cocoa, Stevia, butter, heavy cream and MCT oil. It works fantastically and keeps me full until mid-afternoon. I just use ONE tablespoon of high quality MCT oil.

  8. Is it better to eat a reg breakfast when having bullet proof coffee with brain octane oil in it??/ to prevent diarrhea ????????????

  9. I get diarrhea for first day only. After that I can tolerate 2 tbsp every morning. I also take 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar.

  10. Thank you for this information. I have been using Half a tablespoon KetoMct 100% pure C8 in coffee with heavy cream. I’ve been doing this for months. If I use any more that that and my stomach HURTs, like an ulcer. I just had an endoscopy yesterday and my esophagus and stomach are inflamed, possibly eosinophil esophagitis . I’m wondering if it is from the MCT oil. I have a strong stomach normally, just not with MCT oil.

    • I am have the same reaction, maybe even worse. I just want to know if it revesable, was it for you?

  11. Eat the oil with other food, not on an empty stomach (or with coffee). ut it in your smoothie or protein shake.

  12. Like many of you, I started putting MCT Oil into my Coffee, just a teaspoon twice a day, but on an empty stomach. First thing I noticed was that my bms were dark, very dark, but there was no discomfort. Now, on about the fifth day, my bowels are in severe pain–that cramped over kind (first I thought I might be passing a kidney stone!) I’m laying low hoping my gut repairs–any thoughts on facilitating this repair (besides my suspended MCT use)?

  13. I tried both oil and octane in coffee and by the 3rd day of having 1 cup in morning experienced severe cramping and stomach distention. I like the products but apparently they don’t agree with me.

  14. Is there any way to ease the symptoms or do you just have to ride it out? I have used mct before without issue so thought I’d be okay but I was mistaken.

  15. I haven’t had MCT oil in 6 weeks; however, I’m still having GI issues. I had tried a couple of years ago and just never could tolerate it, even in small amounts. I recently tried again and it was going OK until one day I poured more than usual in my coffee and thought, “Maybe I can handle it now”. I can’t. I have had violent GI issues ever since and starting to fear it won’t stop. Any advice on getting back to normal?

    • Hi there,
      I used 2 table spoons morning & night of Colostrum LD (liposomal) from Sovereign Labs to heal & settle the gut after a similar episode caused by MCTs.
      I also used mintec (peppermint oil capsule) before breakfast & lunch.
      Worked extremely well.
      I would try the colostrum 1st, if that does not work alone, try the peppermint as well (not at the same time – take colostrum 1st thing in morning & last thing at night away from everything else).
      I also followed a really plain, low fibre diet.
      Took 2-3 days to settle everything down, worked a treat – good luck :)

      • Collostrum is fantastic for restoring gut health quickly and w no neg side effects. I personally dont care for the lipo col from sovereign. I’m a collostrum connesiour and think surthrival brand is best and like that its humanely sourced. For anyone needing to reverse ibs or constipation or dir. Issues or leaky gut, start w 3 heaping tablespoons of collostrum powder in water on an empty stomach only. You’ll have a great bm in one to 3 hours. For a healing protocol to reverse leaky gut work up to 12 heaping tablsp a day and do your collostrum for about 4 weeks. Collostrum is the closet you can get to humane growth hormone. It literally regenerates the gut lining cellularly, filling in the leaky junctions and preventing bacteria and food particles from exiting the gut and getting into blood stream where it causes auto immune symptoms ( itching, bloat, burning mouth, joint pain etc all are auto immune responses caused by leaky gut when bacteria or food particles slip out). For maintence do 3 heaping tablespoons in water. Its lumpy and will remain a little lumpy even after mixing. This is normal. Only take on empty stomach and obviously dont mix it in smoothies. It heals very fast. You’ll feel it usually in first day of use. It us not dairy. In fact collostrum heals igg antubodies in dairy allergies and can help one to restore their system so they can introduce dairy again. As you can tell I’m a huge fan of it. It’s a game changer. I worked up to 12 tablespoons because of studies that said athletes used 60 grams daily to support rapid muscle repair after work out and competition. I did a 60 gram protocol for a month and completely healed my leaky gut. Have gotten many friends on it for ibs and all have had first day positive results.

    • Try organic pastures raw whole milk KEFIR.
      If your intestine isn’t going back to normal it probably means that the MCTS kills off too much bacteria. Now you have to correct it with raw Kiefer. Probiotics don’t hold a candle to this particular kefir.

  16. I have ulcerative colitis and am currently on a Keto lifestyle. I like an idiot took 3tbsp of MCT in my coffee this morning before my workout. Since getting home I have had really bad diarrhea. Equivalent to when preparing for a colonoscopy.

    I know now to use a tiny dose of MCT, but I was wondering if it is safe at all for someone with UC?

  17. Using mct oil in my coffee ~ gives me a slight stinging taste temporarily in my mouth and occasionally a temporary anxious state. Does that sound right?

  18. The times I have made my bulletproof coffee and had used the brain octane oil, it gave me a slightly upset stomach. Is this normal and will my body adjust over time?

    • More than likely yes, I would try smaller amounts to see if you can tolerate it. If it continues to cause upset stomach, discontinue.

  19. I just take one swallow of brain octane and get a severe response of stomach cramps and the runs after 30 mins. Does that mean I have some bad bacteria or yeast problems?

    • Possibly, you may have some overgrowth and it is a die off reaction. It could also be an intolerance to the oil or hypersensitivity of the bowels.

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