Medium chain triglycerides

Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are medium-chain (6 to 12 carbons) fatty acid esters of glycerol.

MCTs 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 do. 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, utilization, or storage. Rich sources of MCTs include coconut oil and palm kernel oils and are also found in camphor tree drupes. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium chain fatty acids. The names of the medium chain fatty acids (and the corresponding number of carbons) found in MCTs are: caproic (C6), caprylic (C8), capric (C10) and lauric acid (C12). MCTs are composed of a glycerol backbone and three of these fatty acids. The approximate ratios of these fatty acids in commercial MCT products derived from coconut oil is 2(C6):55(C8):42(C10):1(C12). [PDR Health -- Medium-Chain Triglycerides [http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/med_0172.shtml] ]

The milk fats of humans, dogs, 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 acids. The milk fats of horses contain large amounts of medium chain fatty acids [ [http://www.jlr.org/cgi/content/abstract/8/5/473 Molecular weight distributions of milk fat triglycerides from seven species - Breckenridge and Kuksis 8 (5): 473 - Journal of Lipid Research ] ]

Throughout the years, some studies have shown that MCT's can help in the process of excess calorie burning, weight loss. However, close to half of the calories in one's diet would have to be from the MCT's themselves. Therefore, consuming medium chain triglycerides in a regular diet may or may not be beneficial to weight loss; studies are still being conducted. [cite journal| title = Medium-chain triglycerides| author=B. Martena, M. Pfeuffer, J. Schrezenmeir |journal= International Dairy Journal
volume= 16| issue= 11|year= 2006| pages =1374–1382 |doi=10.1016/j.idairyj.2006.06.015
]

References


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