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Meaning of MCT oil (Medium Chain Triglyceride)


I discovered the existence of these oils by chance, educating me on the composition of coconut oil that I often use.

I was challenged, of course, by mentioning their interest in the context of poor absorption of lipids and thus of cystic fibrosis.

But, in addition, some manufacturer mention their use for weight loss (which we really don't need!) because those oils result in a faster satiety.

I would therefore like to know if specific research had been conducted on the real effect of these oils (also used, I think, in some infant formulas). Is the reason, that we have never been recommended to use these oils is rather due to their exorbitant price or due to the lack of proven effectiveness?

Thank you, in advance, for your clarification.

My best wishes for better health every reader!

As part of a balanced diet, fats are an important part of energy intake, and absolutely must provide essential fatty acids. The majority of food lipids consist of LCT, including infant formulas, which contain little MCT except some MCT formulas without cow's milk proteins. Current recommendations for a child with cystic fibrosis prefer fats providing essential fatty acids (walnut oil, rapeseed, grapeseed oil, oils consist of mixtures, varying the sources of supply), and associated with meals taking pancreatic extracts. In most situations, this allows to obtain or maintain nutritional status and adequate essential fatty acids.
In some cases, when the digestive malabsorption persists despite optimal care, with or after a bowel resection, or for overnight feeding tube, a power adaptation is necessary. MCT are then interesting, because they are less dependent on pancreatic extracts and easier to digest and absorb. We can prescribe either a milk containing MCT, a fat intake at meals as MCT oil made from coconut (or copra). It's therefore an alimentation type which is used in very specific situations, mostly persistent intestinal malabsorption, which is probably not the case for your child.
MCT have no other indications, particularly no effect on weight loss!
Feel free to send your questions to the dietician of the CF center of your child.
Dr Michèle Gérardin