Medium Chain Triglycerides (Mcts) – Uses and Side Effects

Medium Chain Triglycerides (Mcts) – Uses and Side Effects


Medium chain triglycerides is a medical food made in a lab and is derived from fatty acids, coconuts and safflower or palm kernel oils, a polyunsaturated fat. Typical dietary fats are called long-chain triglycerides Medium chain triglycerides is for dietary use in people whose bodies cannot digest certain foods or fats properly. This includes people who are gluten or lactose intolerant, or who have unintended weight loss or need increased calories for other medical reasons. These fats might also improve weight loss because the body can more easily break them down into molecules called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies can be used for energy. Medium chain triglycerides does not contain protein or carbohydrates. People use MCTs for involuntary weight loss called cachexia or wasting syndrome. MCTs are also used for obesity, seizures, athletic performance, Alzheimer disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

What is Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) used for? • Dietary Supplement Effectiveness of MCT MCT is possibly effective for • Involuntary weight loss: in people who are very ill with cachexia or wasting syndrome. Giving MCTs by IV provides calories in critically ill patients. But they don’t seem to work any better than normal dietary fats or long chain triglycerides. IV products can only be given by a healthcare provider. • A quick energy boost: As an easily digestible fat, MCT provides a quick burst of energy after being consumed. This is because some properties of MCT allow it to bypass some of your body’s normal absorption process. • Improve athletic performance: MCT is a proven performance…atleast in a research on mice. This is based on the fact that the mouse-based study noted that its findings were consistent with results of a research that gave frail elderly adults MCT and other supplements. • Optimized digestion and improved gut health: Our digestive system has a large population of healthy bacteria that help us strengthen the gut barrier and prevent the invasion of dangerous microorganisms. MCT has been shown to promote the growth of these bacteria. This helps to optimize digestion and prevent digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. • Improved brain function: Ketones from MCT breakdown can serve as an energy source for the brain. There are claims that it makes the mind sharper, although this was only demonstrated in people with cognitive disorders.MCT oil has been reported to impact brain function, particularly learning and memory. In a pilot study conducted on Alzheimer’s disease patients, researchers found that MCT oil increased cognitive function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. However, due to limitations in the study, the result might not be dependable. Hence, further studies are needed. • Improved heart health by lowering cholesterol: Research results on the effect of MCT on cholesterol levels have shown that it may decrease the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), known as bad cholesterol and increase the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), the good cholesterol. MCT is possibly ineffective for • Involuntary weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS. Taking MCTs orally doesn’t prevent weight loss in people with HIV infection. There is interest in using MCTs for a number of other purposes also, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful. Side Effects of MCT When taken orally: MCTs are likely safe. They can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea and vomiting especially at higher doses. When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if MCTs are safe or what the side effects might be. Special Precautions and Warnings When taken orally: MCTs are likely safe. They can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea and vomiting especially at higher doses. When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if MCTs are safe or what the side effects might be. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if MCTs are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. 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 by the liver, they can cause serious problems in people with liver disease. Do not use MCTs if you have liver problems. What is the most important information you should know about Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)?

Anyone who has ever had an allergic reaction to medium chain triglycerides should not use MCT. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use MCT if you have any type of severe liver problems such as:

  • • cirrhosis or other liver disease;
  • • high blood pressure inside the liver;
  • • brain or nervous system complications caused by severe liver damage; or
  • • if you have had a “portacaval shunt” placed in your body.

Dosing MCTs have most often been used by adults in doses of 6-56 grams by mouth daily for up to 24 weeks. But speaking with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

What happens if you miss a dose? Since MCT is used only when needed, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule. What happens if you overdose? An overdose of medium chain triglycerides is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms. Conclusion: MCT when used in recommended doses by a medical practitioner, is beneficial. But its overdose can have harmful effect on our body

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