Medium-chain Triglycerides

Medium-chain Triglycerides

| March 29th, 2015

The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia on Medium-chain Triglycerides. This is a type of fat found in cows milk which can aid in weight loss. Take a closer look at the science behind it and explanation of MCTs.

Dietary relevance

The milk fats of humans and guinea pigs are largely made up of long-chain fatty acids. The milk fats of cows, sheep, and goats are rich in short-chain fatty acids. The milk fats of horses contain large amounts of medium-chain fatty acids.

Some studies have shown that MCTs can help in the process of excess calorie burning, thus weight loss. MCTs are also seen as promoting fat oxidation and reduced food intake. Interest in MCTs has been expressed by endurance athletes and the bodybuilding community.While health benefits from MCTs seem to occur, a link to improved exercise performance is weak.A number of studies back the use of MCT oil as a weight loss supplement, but these claims are not without conflict, as about an equal number found inconclusive results.

Medical relevanceMCTs passively diffuse from the GI tract to the portal system (longer fatty acids are absorbed into the lymphatic system) without requirement for modification like long-chain fatty acids or very-long-chain fatty acids. In addition, MCTs do not require bile salts for digestion. Patients who have malnutrition or malabsorption syndromes are treated with MCTs because they do not require energy for absorption, use, or storage.

Medium-chain triglycerides are generally considered a good biologically inert source of energy that the human body finds reasonably easy to metabolize. They have potentially beneficial attributes in protein metabolism, but may be contraindicated in some situations due to their tendency to induce ketogenesis and metabolic acidosis.

Due to their ability to be absorbed rapidly by the body, medium-chain triglycerides have found use in the treatment of a variety of malabsorption ailments. MCT supplementation with a low-fat diet has been described as the cornerstone of treatment for primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (Waldmann’s disease).MCTs are an ingredient in parenteral nutritional emulsions.Studies have also shown promising results for neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases) and epilepsy through the use of ketogenic dieting.

Technical usesMCTs are bland compared to other fats and do not generate off-notes (dissonant tastes) as quickly as LCTs. They are also more polar than LCTs. Because of these attributes, they are widely used as solvents for flavours and oral medicines and vitamins.”

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