If you’re dealing with low energy and excess weight, you’re not alone. From 2017 through March 2020, the prevalence of obesity in the United States was 41.9%,¹ and as of 2021, 19 states recorded rates more than double the figures from 2018.² And when it comes to weight loss, statistics show that almost half of U.S. adults try to lose weight at least once a year, with 56.4% of women and 41.7% of men aiming to shed unwanted pounds.³
Based on those statistics, it's little wonder that the dietary supplements market stands at $155.2 billion — with analysts projecting it to hit $220.8 billion by 2027.⁴ Many people want a quick and effective solution to their concerns, something to make the difficult nature of dieting a little easier.
Among these popular supplements are medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils, which are thought to support healthy weight management, boost energy, and improve cognition.⁵ ⁶ We investigated one popular MCT oil — MCT Wellness from Gundry MD — to see what it might offer. Our review breaks down the supplement's pros, cons, and important details to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
MCT Wellness is a bit underdosed, obscured by proprietary blends, and costs more than other alternatives on the market, but it is a good organic, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO option. Gundry MD ensures its products are third-party tested and manufactured in a GMP-certified facility, so customers can have peace of mind knowing that the product they’re buying meets rigorous quality and safety standards. The company also provides a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about getting your money back if the supplement doesn’t work for you.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles. To bring you unbiased recommendations, we’ve extensively researched and evaluated dozens of MCT oil products across the competitive landscape and thoroughly examined over 20 scientific journals and studies.
We evaluate the products and services we review based on current health standards and medical research, continuously assessing our information to ensure it’s always up-to-date.
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
To better explain our evaluation process, we’ve broken down the reasoning behind each of the five criteria we used to examine MCT Wellness: safety, efficacy, convenience, cost, and taste.
Since supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA (there are “...no provisions in the law for FDA to approve dietary supplements for safety before they reach the consumer”), the other precautions a company takes to ensure consumer safety are of vital importance.⁷ Usually, this involves steps like third-party testing and manufacturing the product in a GMP-certified facility.
Next is the supplement’s efficacy; people generally want their supplements to be both safe and effective if they’re going to spend money on them. Up next is convenience, which, while a bit subjective, can sometimes make or break your willingness to stick with a supplement; in some cases, it can also impact the acceptability of our next criterion, cost. The price of MCT oil supplements varies wildly across the competitive landscape, and the costs aren’t always proportionate to the amount of MCT you get in a product.
And, finally, taste; a supplement's flavor might not seem like an important detail at first, but it’s a powerful factor that can potentially turn a person off of a product for good. Even if taste is a highly subjective factor, it’s worth examining.
Gundry MD utilizes third-party testing and manufactures its products in GMP-certified facilities in the United States (similar to competitors Garden of Life and Naomi). And although the specific quantity of MCT in MCT Wellness is unclear due to its proprietary blend, even if the entire 5.5g of the blend was MCT oil, it’d still be significantly lower than the potentially dangerous upper limit suggested by some researchers (anywhere from 50-100g).⁸
When it comes to allergens, Gundry MD is not alone in using coconut oil as the source of its MCT oil. If you have an allergy to coconuts (or other tree nuts), it’s best to steer clear of any MCT oil product that uses oils derived from them. Additionally, one study performed on mice revealed evidence that MCT oils can potentially worsen peanut allergies and anaphylactic reactions.¹³
MCT Wellness may be effective for some people, but the ingredient amounts (even obscured) aren’t equivalent to those in studies where benefits were seen. For example, one study that showed improvements in the cognition of patients with Alzheimer’s used 42g of MCT per day.⁹ And a separate study examining the benefits of MCT oil on weight loss and metabolic factors gave doses of 18g to women and 24g to men.¹⁰
Additionally, the supplement’s MitoHeal (Redcurrant and Blackcurrant Extract) and CogniGrape (one ingredient in MCT Wellness’ Grape Polyphenol Complex) suffer from the same underdosing issue. One study on the effectiveness of MitoHeal on subjects’ skin health used 500mg and 1,000mg, while MCT Wellness only offers 400mg.¹¹ And while some promising research on CogniGrape’s effects on cognition does appear to use the same amount that’s in MCT Wellness (250mg), it’s worth mentioning that Gundry MD uses CogniGrape as part of a blend — it’s not just 250mg of pure CogniGrape.¹² Like the product’s MCT blend, the actual amounts are unknown.
While it’s not uncommon for companies to use proprietary blends in supplements, we wish Gundry MD was more transparent about the ingredients in MCT Wellness. There are ways to add transparency without divulging the exact amounts. One competing brand, Naomi, does this by listing the approximate percentage of total MCTs in the blend used for its Creamy MCT Oil Powder.
It’s also important to note that Gundry MD’s claim that bioflavonoids help MCT or other ketones “travel through your body at light speed” has no current research or evidence to back it up.
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According to Gundry MD, it's recommended to mix MCT Wellness with 10oz of water and allow 3-5 minutes for it to completely dissolve — which is fairly typical of powdered supplements.
MCT oil powders appear to be considered more convenient by reviewers due to the messy nature of liquid oils, especially for those who travel often. Ultimately, though, the convenience of a product boils down to what you would prefer. If you’d rather avoid the potential mess of oils, then maybe a powder like MCT Wellness would be ideal. Or maybe you dread the thought of scooping and mixing powders and would prefer just adding a tablespoon of oil to your beverage. (And if neither appeals to you, some companies, like Bulletproof, offer MCT oil in capsule form.)
Throughout our research, we found that the amount of MCT oil in a product isn’t always reflected in a product’s price. For instance, two MCT Wellness competitors, Garden of Life and Bubs Naturals, offer powders with roughly the same amount of product and MCT oil, but Bubs Naturals’ supplement costs nearly $10 more than Garden of Life’s. However, this price difference doesn’t compare to MCT Wellness’ cost of $49.95 — and that’s with the discount you get after signing up for the company’s free membership. If you choose not to sign up, MCT Wellness will cost you $79.95. With an unknown amount of MCT oil at one of the highest prices we’ve found (even post-discount), it feels like something doesn’t add up for what you get with MCT Wellness.
The best way to save money on MCT Wellness is to utilize Gundry MD’s membership or subscription options, but this still will likely cost you more than alternatives that offer more MCT, like Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Keto Organic MCT powder which costs $26.39 and gives you a guaranteed 6g of MCT oil.
At the time of our purchase, Watermelon Lemonade was the only flavor available, but we found it surprisingly tasty and refreshing when mixed with water or fruit juice. The only downside to the flavors offered by Gundry MD (Watermelon Lemonade and Raspberry Medley) is that they wouldn’t mix well with other beverages, like coffee or tea. Some MCT oil supplements, like Naomi’s Creamy MCT Vanilla Coconut Swirl, are better suited for those types of drinks. If you plan on always taking your MCT oil in water or juice, though, MCT Wellness is a good option.
MCT Wellness is a plant-based dietary supplement from manufacturer Gundry MD. This fruit-flavored powder is mixed with water or juice and taken daily to potentially support cognition,⁹ boost metabolism,¹⁴ improve complexion,¹¹ and burn fat.¹⁴ While the included ingredients have some evidence backing up these benefits, MCT Wellness is underdosed compared to the amounts seen in studies.
The company behind MCT Wellness, Gundry MD, was founded by former cardiac surgeon Dr. Stephen Gundry in 2015 after he came to the conclusion that many health conditions may result from inadequate nutrition. Gundry's private practice at the International Heart & Lung Institute assists individuals with weight loss and living healthier lifestyles. At the same time, the Gundry MD website offers a wide range of dietary supplements, skin and hair care products, foods, and more.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid. MCT oil comes from coconut oil or, in some cases, palm kernel oil. (Both coconut oil and palm kernel oil have similar nutrition profiles.¹⁵) These MCTs can work to boost ketone levels in the body,¹⁶ potentially even without the strict carbohydrate restriction of a traditional keto diet.¹⁷
To take MCT Wellness, mix one scoop of powder into the beverage of your choice — the company recommends 10oz of water.
Each daily serving (one scoop) contains 30 calories, 2.5g fat, 3g carbohydrates, and 2g dietary fiber from the following ingredients:
Additional ingredients include:
Those with food allergies should note that MCT Wellness is made from coconut oil, the same as MCT products from various competitors like Bulletproof and Nature’s Way.
The supplement's MCT Prebiotic Blend includes C8 MCT oil (derived from coconuts) and acacia gum. Unfortunately, due to the nature of proprietary blends, it’s impossible to know precisely how much MCT oil is in the 5,500mg blend, similar to the proprietary blend used in Naomi’s MCT products. So, while MCT oils have some evidence to support potential benefits, proprietary blends don’t allow you to know if the amount you’re getting is equivalent or even close to the doses used in studies.
In some of those aforementioned studies, researchers have found that MCT oil improves weight loss and increases satiety, reducing cravings.¹⁴ MCTs can also potentially:
Additionally, some MCT oils (particularly virgin coconut oil) can soothe and moisturize the skin.²¹ And MCT oil may also be able to help some individuals with digestive problems or absorption issues get the necessary nutrients.⁸
Acacia gum, the other component of MCT Wellness’ blend, is a prebiotic fiber that may help lower cholesterol levels while increasing satiety and lowering peak blood glucose response, helping to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes and unwanted excess weight. As a prebiotic, it feeds our gut flora and can stave off the buildup of bad bacteria in our GI tract.²²
Redcurrant and blackcurrant extracts are high in vitamin C, which can support immunity, among other things.²³ They are a type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which are rich in quercetin and might provide the following health benefits:²⁴
However, the 400mg dosage in MCT Wellness may be ineffective compared to the standard dosage of 1,000mg seen in many scientific studies.²⁵
Red grape extract is rich in resveratrol, which mimics the effects of calorie restriction and can decrease lipid content in the liver. Its antioxidant properties may also provide the following benefits:²⁶
Like the redcurrant and blackcurrant extracts, the dosage of red grape extract in MCT Wellness does not meet the clinical dosage of 1g to 5g per day, and resveratrol excretion occurs within four hours after ingestion.²⁶
As with any new supplement regimen, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional before taking MCT Wellness. While MCTs are generally considered safe in moderation, it’s better to proceed with caution, especially if you have a preexisting condition or are on any medications.
Even though MCT Wellness has no reported side effects, some individuals experience digestive issues, including:
These digestive issues are commonly reported with MCT oil supplements across the competitive landscape, particularly liquid oils (such as Onnit MCT Oil). Reviews on powders and capsules don’t appear to mention digestive upset as often. Starting off slow and working up to a full dose could also potentially help you avoid these side effects as your body adjusts to the supplement.
By converting to ketones in the body, MCT oil promotes thermogenesis and nutritional ketosis, promoting weight loss, appetite suppression, and the breakdown of stored fat.²⁷ ²⁸ Nutritional ketosis is a hot-button subject among nutrition and dietary experts and should not be sustained long-term without the supervision of a medical provider. You shouldn’t attempt nutritional ketosis if you have diabetes, as ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up in the kidneys.²⁹ If you’re using MCT Wellness to boost the power of a keto diet, be sure to let your doctor know.
People under 18 and those who are pregnant or nursing should avoid products containing caprylic acid (also known as C8 MCT oil — the type used in MCT Wellness and some alternatives, like Bulletproof). If you have a chronic health condition or take ongoing medication, you should always consult your doctor before adding any new supplement to your daily regimen.
If you experience adverse side effects while taking MCT Wellness, we recommend stopping use and consulting with your doctor.
Gundry MD’s MCT Wellness is among the higher-cost MCT formulas on the market. Still, it provides additional potentially beneficial ingredients that other brands don’t (even if they’re underdosed). While we appreciate that the product is third-party tested and manufactured in a GMP-certified facility, other brands like Nature’s Way, Naomi, and Garden of Life offer the same.
Given the disparities in cost per serving, we recommend opting for the subscription membership program and buying in bulk to cut down on costs.
You can purchase MCT Wellness from a variety of pharmacies, vitamin shops, and online retailers. However, buying directly from Gundry MD allows you to earn significant savings by enrolling in the company's free membership or subscription.
Buying the product in bulk can also save you money, but you'll technically get the best price by purchasing six jars with the company’s subscription program — this drops the cost per serving from $2.66 to just $1.24. This still means you’ll be paying over $200, but it is significantly less than the base price, which is more than $400.
|Price||Cost per serving|
|1 jar (single order)||$79.95||$2.66|
|1 jar (membership purchase)||$49.95||$1.67|
|1 jar (subscription)||$44.95||$1.50|
|3 jars (single order)||$215.85||$2.40|
|3 jars (membership purchase)||$134.85||$1.50|
|3 jars (subscription)||$119.85||$1.33|
|6 jars (single order)||$407.70||$2.26|
|6 jars (membership purchase)||$251.70||$1.40|
|6 jars (subscription)||$221.70||$1.24|
Gundry MD provides free shipping on orders over $49, so you’ll never have to pay for shipping when you order MCT Wellness from the company’s website. We appreciate this deal on shipping, as other competitors like Onnit, Naomi, and Bulletproof only offer free shipping for amounts higher than what you’d spend on a single product.
GundryMD offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, a nice length of time for a return policy. GundryMD's return policy is longer than Bulletproof's 30-day policy and comparable to Onnit's policy. However, it’s outdone by Naomi's 365-day return policy, which is one of the longest refund policies we’ve come across.
To give you a sense of MCT Wellness compared to some other options on the market, we’ve compiled a comparative chart below. Note that the pricing doesn’t reflect subscription plans, which can sometimes amount to significant savings (which is why the table indicates whether brands offer subscription options).
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