MCT information, FAQ and product listing page. This page contains information and frequently asked questions about MCT as well as a complete list of products containing MCT.
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MCT, or medium chain triglycerides are apart of a class of lipids that include three saturated fats being bound to the glycerol backbone. MCT is different from other triglycerides because of the fact that each molecule is between six and twelve carbons in length. MCTs are an important component in many foods, like palm oils and coconuts, which are the dietary sources with the highest amount of MCTs.
And of course, medium chain triglycerides are also available in dietary supplement form.
There are many different positive health benefits to taking MCT. Some of the more well-known benefits involve the following health conditions:
Malabsorption – The usage of MCTs is easily identifiable in malabsorption. Children that are inflicted with cystic fibrosis that supplemented with upwards of 75 mL of MCTs per day had undergone an increased weight gain with reduced fecal fat – this is opposed to a trial period with a controlled diet, which garnered not so impressive results. When MCTs were given at the same time along with a pancreatic enzyme preparation, absorption rates were improved.
MCTs have also been used to help combat other malabsorption syndromes, these including celiac disease, hepatic disease, and short-bowel syndrome.
Cachexia – Patients that were chronically ill that received parenteral nutrition with preparations containing at least 50 percent of fat calories from MCTs had a drastically lower production tumor necrosis factor-alpha. This is comparable to a solution contains 100% LCTs.
MCTs have also been used in part of a ketogenic diet to help treat children that were inflicted by cancer and intractable seizures. While the ketogenic diet varies, typically it contains about 60 percent of it’s calories from MCT oil, 20 percent deriving from protein, with another 10 percent from carbohydrates and the remaining coming from other dietary fats.
HIV and Aids – MCTs could possibly help with maintaining weight with patients that have AIDS. An enternal formula that contains 85% of its fat calories from MCTs is believed to have led to a decrease in stool fat, as well as a number of bowel movements and abdominal symptoms. In addition, it also led to an increased amount of fat absorption compared to the baseline.
Exercise Nutrition – It is believed, while not conclusively proven, that MCTs help improve energy utilization while performing exercises. More research is needed.
Those that are suffering from the above conditions may benefit from supplementing with MCT. And as mentioned previously, MCT may have some benefit during exercise. You should research the claims provided by the manufacturer of the particular MCT supplement you are looking to take to learn more about potential health benefits and who should or should not take them.
The dosage of MCTs that you should take varies wildly as it depends on your conditions and reasoning for taking the compound. Studies that have involved MCTs have normally used anywhere from 15-30 mL of MCTs per day in children, with 50-100 mL per day in adults.
Patients with a severe case of cachexia are usually given higher doses. In any case, you should always strictly adhere to the advice of a medical professional familiar with your situation when supplementing with a substance – and always follow label instructions found on supplements.
Due to its unique characteristics regarding absorption, MCTs tend to be a well-tolerated substance, even among individuals that experience a severe case of malabsorption. While fat malabsorption symptoms are commonly fewer with MCTs than LCTs, steatorrhea has been reported. In addition, high doses of MCTs have brought on cases of mild gastrointestinal upset.