We recommend that you read our full Brain Octane MCT oil review because our opinion of this supplement is a little complicated. On the one hand, it provides nothing but highly beneficial caprylic acid. On the other hand, capric acid (C10 MCT) has many benefits of its own. Removing it entirely is not always a good idea, especially if you want your supplements to resemble nature in some way. There are better MCT oils than Brain Octane on sale today.
Brain Octane Reviews – What does this MCT oil do?
Most of you will have heard of Bulletproof before, probably because of the ‘coffee and butter’ fad which still has a lot of people jacking up their cholesterol levels for no reason. Brain Octane is Bulletproof’s MCT oil supplement. It is without doubt one of the best-selling MCT oils on the market right now. Why is that? Let’s find out!
Bulletproof Brain Octane claims to deliver the same core benefits as most other MCT oils:
- More brain power
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced hunger
- Increased fat burning
These are the things we can expect from proper use of a good quality MCT oil.
Clinical trials have shown that medium chain triglycerides can raise resting metabolic rate, promote satiety, and promote the use of fat for energy. In converting directly to ketones in the liver, they also act as ready fuel for the brain, helping you stay alert while fasting.
The question we need to answer is how good of an MCT oil supplement is Brain Octane.
Is Brain Octane a good MCT oil? Is it good value for money? What is in Brain Octane? Will it cause side effects? Are there better MCT oils currently on the market? Read our detailed Brain Octane review below and find out!
Brain Octane ingredients
Here is the Brain Octane oil ingredients list as it is displayed on the label:
Here is a quick breakdown of the ingredients:
- Caprylic acid – 14g
That’s not much of a formula to dissect! Each serving of Brain Octane simply provides 14g of C8 Caprylic acid. What is so special about this particular medium chain triglyceride? We’ll now explain what caprylic acid is, what it is supposed to do, and why Bulletproof Brain Octane contains nothing else.
Caprylic acid – What is it?
Caprylic acid is one of the four medium chain triglycerides. You will often see caprylic acid referred to as C8 in reviews of MCT oil supplements like Brain Octane.
Caprylic acid is sometimes written as C8 because it contains eight carbon atoms; the other medium chain fatty acids contain between 6 and 12 carbon atoms, and are usually written as C6, C10, and C12.
Caprylic acid is widely regarded as the most useful MCT for enhancing health, helping with weight management, and improving cognitive performance.
This isn’t wrong – caprylic acid is a far better MCT than Caproic acid (C6) or Lauric acid (C12). It is rapidly absorbed in the human digestive tract, it is quickly converted to ketones in the liver, and it doesn’t cause any of the digestive distress associated with Lauric acid.
Caprylic acid is also relatively hard to come by from foods. Coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, with a significant chunk taken up by caproic acid. If these were the fatty acids that you wanted, you could just eat more coconuts!
So is Brain Octane right to use only caprylic acid?
While caprylic acid is one of the most beneficial MCTs, it isn’t the only beneficial MCT.
Our analysis: Is Brain Octane any good?
In our opinion, Brain Octane is a very good MCT oil supplement.
It provides a very large dose of one of the most effective medium chain triglycerides – Caprylic acid.
Bulletproof have removed all the less effective and sometimes problematic C6 and C12 fatty acids from their coconut sources, as well as C10 capric acid.
This makes it a far more efficient, effective, and safe supplement than most other MCT oils.
However, we think it isn’t always a good idea to leave out C10 capric acid.
For one thing, capric acid has beneficial properties of its own. Like caprylic acid, it is easily absorbed, it is rapidly converted to ketones in the liver, and it has been shown in clinical trials to enhance athletic performance, cognitive function, and support eating control.
More importantly, most of the studies which found the biggest benefits from MCT supplements used both caprylic acid and capric acid. It is highly likely that these fatty acids work together to produce significant improvements in energy levels, metabolism, and brain function.
A combination of caprylic acid and capric acid will more closely resemble natural MCT sources, making it easier for your body to process.
However, this really is splitting hairs.
On the whole, Brain Octane oil is a top-quality supplement. It is extremely pure, easy to pour, and flavorless, making it great for incorporating into your diet.
In terms of value for money, Brain Octane is good – it is just under $25 a bottle (at the time of writing). If you’re looking for a effective, pure, clean MCT oil, then Brain Octane is not a bad option at all.
While there are better MCT oils on the market right now, there is nothing wrong with Brain Octane at all.
A good supplement for athletes looking to burn fat, people who regularly train fasted, or people who want to gain a mental edge.
Side effects – Is Brain Octane safe?
MCT oils are generally very safe. So long as you are following the manufacturer’s instructions and not using too much, you can use MCT supplements like Brain Octane on a regular basis without experiencing any side effects whatsoever.
MCTs are, after all, fatty acids found in the natural human diet.
Brain Octane only has one ingredient – Caprylic acid.
Each serving provides 14g of caprylic acid – about 1 tablespoon’s worth of the oil.
This is not going to cause any side effects unless your digestive system is extremely sensitive or intolerant to these fatty acids.
Brain Octane is significantly less likely to cause side effects or adverse health consequences than large quantities of coconut oil, and it doesn’t contain any of the fatty acids known to cause digestive distress (i.e. lauric acid).
So on the whole, Brain Octane looks like a perfectly safe supplement for long-term, frequent use.
CAUTION – Disclaimer
It is vital that you do your own research thoroughly before using any new supplements. MCTs are generally safe, but they might not be 100% safe for you. Talk to a qualified health professional before using Brain Octane. Remember, we aren’t doctors, and this isn’t medical advice.
Review summary – Is Brain Octane a good supplement?
Simply put, yes – Brain Octane is a solid MCT oil supplement.
Each serving of Brain Octane provides nothing but pure caprylic acid – 14g of the stuff.
Caprylic acid is the most prized MCT, because it is the most scarce in food and because it has far greater health benefits than lauric acid or caproic acid.
That said, is Brain Octane the best MCT oil on the market? Not quite.
In our opinion, this would be a better product if it also provided some capric acid – and MCT with its own unique properties, benefits, and effects on the body.
A combination of capric acid and caprylic acid has been shown in numerous clinical trials to enhance health and performance in numerous ways, from protecting brain cells from damage to increasing the number of mitochondria in cells.
But while Brain Octane could be better, it is still an excellent MCT oil.
If you want a high quality, pure caprylic acid supplement to help you train while fasted, keep your diet on track or keep your brain cells firing, then Brain Octane is not a bad choice at all.
However, if you want the best possible MCT oil supplement for your money, then Brain Octane is not it. There are purer, more effective and altogether healthier MCT oils on sale right now for sure.
What is Brain Octane used for?
Brain Octane is designed for people who want a fast-acting energy boost without using sugar or stimulants.
The MCTs in Brain Octane are quickly converted to ketones, which your brain can use for fuel in place of glucose. This property makes high quality MCT oils perfect for people who do fasted training or who want to prevent the food cravings that come with low blood sugar.
Does Brain Octane break a fast?
Yes, consuming Brain Octane will technically break your fast. Brain Octane is composed entirely of fatty acids. Your body can use these fatty acids for fuel. You are therefore breaking a fast by consuming Brain Octane.
That said, consuming Brain Octane will not produce an insulin spike as it is 100% dietary fat. So for those of you who are fasting for health or weight loss reasons, Brain Octane is not necessarily a bad idea. As it doesn’t trigger a release of insulin, Brain Octane will not stop your body using fat stores for fuel. Nor will it stop the autophagy that comes with prolonged fasting.
What are the ingredients in Brain Octane oil?
Brain Octane oil is 100% caprylic acid. That is the only ingredient. According to Bulletproof, C8 caprylic acid is the best MCT oil for promoting ketosis. We don’t completely buy that, but caprylic acid is one of the best MCTs of the four in existence.
Can I put coconut oil in coffee?
It’s become very popular to add coconut oil to coffee. Some more serious biohackers have started adding MCT oil to their morning brew. This is a perfectly fine way to consume MCT oil. High quality MCT oils like Brain Octane are taste-neutral and easy to mix with drinks like coffee. That said, mixing coffee with MCT oil does not confer any benefits other than the benefits of consuming these substances separately.
Johan Theorin is an author, editor, and competitive cyclist. He is the author of most of the content on this website, and he is the site editor. Johan has spent years researching joint health, sports performance and recovery. He is a leading biohacking expert and an experienced physiotherapist.