Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) are medium-chain (8 to 10 carbons) fatty acids. Rich dietary sources of MCT’s include palm kernel oil, coconut oil and camphor tree drupes. They are more rapidly absorbed and metabolised quicker than Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT’s), making MCT’s an excellent energy source. MCT’s have also been shown to impart a wide range of health benefits such as improving endurance, increasing fat loss, preventing atherosclerosis and reducing age-induced cognitive decline.
The Benefits of MCT’s
MCT’s help to increase energy levels as they are absorbed and metabolised quickly. MCT’s do not require the presence of carnitine during metabolism. This means MCTs are able to cross the mitochondrial membrane rapidly. This causes an increase in acetyl-coA, leading to increased production of ketones that can be used as an energy source by the body. MCTs are popular with athletes seeking to increase energy levels and improve endurance during high-intensity exercise. MCTs also serve as an alternative energy source for athletes on high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets.
MCT’s & Health
MCTs have shown to be useful in treating a number of medical disorders, in particular those that involve impaired or damaged fat metabolism. Some of these disorders include cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and cirrhosis. MCT has also been reported to be useful for feeding of newborn infants assisting their initial growth and to contributing to their physiological development. The absorption of calcium and magnesium appears to be enhanced when the diet contains MCTs and the absorption of amino acids also appears to be improved. MCTs can be a useful addition to the diet of those suffering from any form of malnutrition or tissue wasting.
Side effects of MCT’s
As MCT’s are easily and quickly digested there are rarely any side effects associated with using them. In some cases, gastrointestinal discomfort has been reported in the early stages of supplementation with MCTs. This can normally be reduced by lowering the dosage temporarily, and then building the dosage back to normal levels. If you suffer from diabetes it is recommended that you consult with your GP, as the increased ketone production caused by MCT consumption can be mistaken for other symptoms.
Medium Chain Triglyceride Dosage
Add 150ml – 200ml of water or fruit juice into one of your tpw protein shakers and add five scoops of MCT powder (10g). Shake well and consume. If you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort initially, try reducing the dosage before gradually increasing the dosage back to the recommended levels.