Send to

Choose Destination
Altern Med Rev. 1999 Feb;4(1):23-8.

A cross-over study of the effect of a single oral feeding of medium chain triglyceride oil vs. canola oil on post-ingestion plasma triglyceride levels in healthy men.

Author information

Bastyr University Research Institute, 14500 Juanita Dr. NE, Kenmore, WA 98028, USA.


Due to its unique absorption and metabolism characteristics, medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, consisting of fatty acids with 8-12 carbons, has been used therapeutically since the 1950s in the treatment of fat malabsorption, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, weight control, and to increase exercise performance. Medium chain triglycerides are easily hydrolyzed in the intestines and the fatty acids are transported directly to the liver via the portal venous system, in contrast to long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), which are incorporated into chylomicrons for transport through the lymphatic system or peripheral circulation. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) do not require carnitine to cross the double mitochondrial membrane of the hepatocyte, thus they quickly enter the mitochondria and undergo rapid beta-oxidation, whereas most LCFAs are packaged into triglycerides in the hepatocyte. In this single-blind, randomized, cross-over study, 20 healthy men ingested a single dose of either 71 g of MCT oil or canola oil. Blood samples were taken at baseline and at hours one through five post-ingestion to compare the effect of a single oral dosing of MCT oil versus canola oil on post-ingestion plasma triglyceride levels. Mean triglyceride values after canola oil increased 47 percent above baseline (p <0.001), while mean triglyceride values after MCT oil decreased 15 percent from baseline (p <0.001), which is consistent with several other studies involving short- and longer-term feeding with MCT oil. The effect of long-term usage of MCT oil on triglycerides is yet to be established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Alternative Medicine Review
Loading ...
Support Center