Bulletproof Brain Octane vs XCT Oil Difference

Bulletproof mct oils comparisonBrain octane is a pure C8 oil (caprylic acid) compared to XCT oil, which is a blend of both C8 and C10 (capric acid). Both Bulletproof products are MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oils.

If you follow the advice in the Bulletproof diet book you know how many recipes you can use it in. If you like making Bulletproof coffee, or even tea, then you will know how important a using an upgraded MCT oil is in your daily caffeine routine. MCTs are not just normal coconut oil. Oh no, they are a super special byproduct that has a ton of health benefits.

However, you need to know there are big when reviewing the differences between regular MCT oil and the Bulletproof options. Then there are also the unique features for Brain Octane and XCT that make them different from each other. Don’t worry, we got loads of great answers to the common questions when looking at which one to buy. Ready? Here we go.

MCT Oil Review

Let’s start by going over some basics like “what is a medium chain triglyceride?”

It is also known as a medium chain fatty acid which is a form of saturated fat. Saturated fats can be sub-classified into short-chain (SCFAs), medium-chain (MCTs), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs).

There are four kinds of MCTs:

  1. C6 a.k.a caproic acid or hexanoic acid or C6:0
  2. C8 a.k.a caprylic acid or octanoic acid or C8:0
  3. C10 a.k.a capric acid or decanoic acid or C10:0
  4. C12 a.k.a lauric acid or dodecanoic acid or C12:0

The numbers after the “C” are used to define the length of the carbon chains in each molecular formula from chemistry. The fourth one, C12, is controversial as some would say it should be classified as a long-chain fatty acid.

How Is MCT Made

Coconuts are used for medium chain triglyceride productionThere are two primary sources where medium chain triglycerides comes from:

  1. Coconut oil
  2. Palm kernel oil.

Coconut oil is made from pressing the dried coconut kernel (meat), which is called the copra.

Palm kernel oil is made from processing kernel from the fruit of palm tree. This is not to be confused with palm oil which is made from the reddish pulp of the fruit of a palm tree.

You do get medium chain fatty acids in other food sources like diary which includes butter and ghee. However, they contain much smaller quantities and have more short chain fatty acids like butyrate.


Nutritional ketosis dietThis type of dietary oil is used extensively in the ketogenic diet. The reason being is this type of ketosis oil is fantastic for raising blood ketone levels (beta-hydroxybutyrate) to put you in a state of nutritional ketosis.

There are two easy and reliable ways to know if you are in a state of nutritional ketosis. One way is to use a beta-hydroxybutyrate measurement device like this one, to test if your blood levels are 0.5 mM and above. The second way is to use a Ketonix breath analyzer to measure breath acetone levels.

If you do the intermittent fasting then you will be naturally cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis from the fasting effect.

Here is a list of what else MCT Oil is used for:

  • Weight loss management
  • Balancing blood sugar levels & improving insulin sensitivity
  • Improving appetite by decreasing food cravings & increasing satiety
  • Improving energy levels & oxygen capacity which equals better athletic performance
  • Enhancing vasodilation for better blood flow in the arteries
  • Treatment for migraine headaches
  • Neuroprotective benefits for disorders that cause seizure
  • Autism and improved behavior
  • Mood stabilization in bipolar disorder (type II)
  • Stroke prevention management
  • Metabolic syndrome management
  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Inflammation management


Like most things there can be potential unwanted effects when consuming this type of keto oil in some people:

  • Diarrhea a.k.a disaster pants
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Intestinal gas

What causes disaster pants is something called C17, which is a byproduct of other MCT oil production processes. You will read below that the best way to avoid gastro distress is to use Brain Octane oil.

MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil

Lady feeling good and full of energyCoconut oil is the byproduct from pressing the flesh of a coconut. MCT oil is the byproduct from refining coconut oil. Therefore, MCT oil is actually a refined version of coconut oil.

To be able to isolate the desired medium chain fatty acids mentioned above, like capric and caprylic acid, the oil from a coconut needs to be fractionated into a food grade form.

Coconut oil contains lots of lauric acid, which is a great anti-microbial used as a treatment for candida and yeast infections. When lauric acid is digested in our gastrointestinal system, it then forms a substance called, monolaurin. Both monolaurin plus lauric acid can kill harmful pathogens like fungi, bacteria & viruses.

There are substantially more C8 and C10 fatty acids in MCT oil compared to coconut oil. You would need six tablespoons of plain coconut oil to match one tablespoon of normal MCT oil levels.

MCT Oil vs Bulletproof Oils

Orangutan friendly mct oil sourceHopefully, you will have read so far how where the oil is sourced and how it is refined makes all the difference when comparing products.

Both Bulletproof Brain Octane and XCT oils do not contain the C17 byproduct that can cause major gastro distress.

Looking at getting the purest form of C8 and C10 medium chain fatty acids on the market? Then the Bulletproof options are much better for you.

Dave has chosen to use 100% coconut oil to get the best MCT oil he could manufacture. So there is no palm kernel oil in either Bulletproof oil. It says so on the label.

This means the Bulletproof products are orangutan friendly so you are helping to support the protection of orangutans in Southeast Asia from the palm oil crisis by not buying a product that causes any of them harm.

You also might not be able to trust the nutrition label with some no-name brands. Watch out, as some other products on the market might use filler oils, like olive oil, or other omega 6 oils.

You can trust that either Bulletproof MCT oil has gone through rigorous testing to guarantee that you are getting what you are paying for.

Brain Octane or XCT Oil?


Brain Octane Oil

100% Capric and Caprylic Acid Blend 100% Pure Caprylic Acid
6x Stronger Than Coconut Oil18x Stronger Than Coconut Oil
Helps Raise KetonesHelps Raise Ketones
Cook up to 320 ℉ (160 ºC)Cook up to 320 ℉ (160 ºC)
Requires 6 lbs. of coconut oil to produceRequires 18 lbs. of coconut oil to produce
128 calories129 calories
Use in Bulletproof CoffeeUse in Bulletproof Coffee
Use on Food in the Bulletproof DietUse on Food in the Bulletproof Diet
Click Here for PricingClick Here for Pricing
Difference between XCT & Brain Octane oil answer from Dave Asprey

Here is the Bulletproof Radio podcast #45 Dave Asprey referred to in the answer above on Facebook.

Let’s take a deeper look at each one to help you compare the different features and when to use one over the other.

Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil

Brain Octane is even more refined than plain MCT or coconut oil. In fact, you the 100% C8 oil in Brain Octane only makes up about 6% of coconut oil. So you get very little C8 in regular coconut oil.

This is why Brain Octane is 18x stronger than coconut oil. It contains 100% caprylic acid (C8). This should be a major reason why you would want to choose Brain Octane instead of a regular MCT oil.

Caprylic acid rapidly metabolizes into ketone bodies that can be used by the brain for instant energy without breaking down glucose from dietary sugars or carbohydrates.

If you want the highest level of brain performance from your Bulletproof Coffee then use Brain Octane.

Brain octane also aids in re-balancing of yeast in your gut. This helps to bring candida into balance in your system.

  • Ketogenic Diet Approved
  • Pure C8 Oil
  • Make Ketones Fast
  • Brain Performance
  • Taste is Neutral

You can get a bottle of Brain Octane oil in three different sizes:

  1. Large 32 fl oz bottle (960ml) option
  2. Smaller 16 fl oz bottle (473ml) option
  3. Travel size 3 fl oz bottle (90ml) option

Bulletproof XCT Oil

This is the original Bulletproof MCT product and was previously called Upgraded™ MCT oil. It was the first refined coconut oil developed to be used in the official Bulletproof® Coffee recipe.

This bottle is definitely not just a simple concentrated organic virgin coconut oil. Dave’s version of MCT oil is 6x stronger than regular coconut oil when it comes to providing medium chain fatty acids.

It is made using a Bulletproof process to refine premium coconut oil made from coconuts to give you a proprietary blend of both capric acid (C10) and caprylic acid (C8). It is free from lauric acid and other long chain fatty acids that are more difficult to metabolize.

It can be used in making coffee as it improves mouth feel. It can also be used with food like sushi, smoothies, “Get Some” Bulletproof ice cream, paleo soups, bone broths and vegetables on the green side of the Bulletproof diet.

MCT oil is great in helping with energy levels for the brain and aids in weight loss.

Beginners Tip: The best way to try XCT oil for the first time is to take it slow. Try adding 1 tablespoon to your food or coffee and then increase the amount as your body gets better at metabolizing fat again.

  • Ketogenic Diet Approved Oil
  • Assists in Weight Management
  • Helps Mental Performance
  • Tastes Neutral

You can get a bottle of XCT oil in two different sizes:

  1. Large 32 fl oz bottle (960ml) option
  2. Smaller 16 fl oz bottle (473ml) option

Best MCT Oil For Bulletproof Coffee

Recommended ProductDescriptionLink
Brain Octane OilBest MCT oil for Bulletproof coffee to improve cognitive function. Raises ketones the fastest & the most. Can be used daily & for long periods.Click Here for Pricing
Upgraded XCT OilSecond best choice MCT Oil for Bulletproof Coffee. Costs less, but does provide ketogenic effect required. Great for people wanting to lose weight & premium quality product.Click Here for Pricing

To recap, the biggest difference is that you are getting 100% caprylic acid with Brain Octane. This is used mainly for cognitive function and easier digestion. You will get an even better brain boost compared to XCT oil. Dave has also mentioned that he feels less gastrointestinal disturbances with Brain Octane versus other MCT oils. Remember too that he can take a lot as he does free pour the stuff into his Bulletproof coffee.

XCT oil is great for helping your metabolism with some brain boosting at a more economical pricing.

Overall you can’t go wrong going with either oil. You can substitute a little of one in with the other in a mix if needs. Either one is a great alternative for the other and can complement each other too.