Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are partially man-made fats. The name refers to the way the carbon atoms are arranged in their chemical structure. MCTs are generally made by processing coconut and palm kernel oils in the laboratory. Usual dietary fats, by comparison, are long-chain triglycerides. People use MCTs as medicine.
MCTs are used along with usual medications for treating food absorption disorders including diarrhea, steatorrhea (fat indigestion), celiac disease, liver disease, and digestion problems due to partial surgical removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) or the intestine (short bowel syndrome).
MCTs are also used for “milky urine” (chyluria) and a rare lung condition called chylothorax. Other uses include treatment of gallbladder disease, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease, and seizures in children.
Athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, as well as for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
MCTs are sometimes used as a source of fat in total parenteral nutrition (TPN). In TPN, all food is delivered intravenously (by IV). This type of feeding is necessary in people whose gastrointestinal (GI) tract is no longer working.
Intravenous MCTs are also given to prevent muscle breakdown in critically ill patients.
How it works
MCTs are a fat source for patients who cannot tolerate other types of fats. Researchers also think that these fats produce chemicals in the body that might help fight Alzheimer's disease.
Possibly EffectiveCertain types of seizures in childrenPreventing muscle breakdown in critically ill patients, when given intravenously (by IV)
MCTs can provide calories in critically ill patients, but don't seem to offer any advantages over normal dietary fats (long chain triglycerides).
MCTs are safe for most people when taken by mouth or given intravenously (by IV). They can cause diarrhea, vomiting, irritability, nausea, stomach discomfort, intestinal gas, essential fatty acid deficiency, and other side effects. Taking MCTs with food might reduce some side effects.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of MCTs duringpregnancyandbreast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.Dosing considerations for Medium Chain Triglycerides (mcts).
Diabetes: MCTs can cause certain chemicals called ketones to build up in the body. This can be a problem for people with diabetes. Avoid using MCTs if you have diabetes.
Liver problems: Because MCTs are processed primarily by the liver, they can cause serous problems in people with liver disease. Do not use MCTs if you have cirrhosis or other liver problems.
No information available.