Medium Chain Triglycerides, MCTs, Medium-chain fatty acids
Medium-chain fatty acids are fatty acids containing from six to 12 carbon atoms.
Medium chain fatty acids are constituents of coconut and palm kernel oils, which are also called lauric oils because of their high content of the 12 carbon fatty acid, lauric or dodecanoic acid.
Medium chain triglycerides are rapidly absorbed from the small intestine, intact or following hydrolysis, into the portal circulation. From there, it is transported to the liver. MCTs do not require pancreatic enzymes or bile salts for digestion and absorption, which make them better for those with malabsorption syndromes.
MCTs are ketogenic, which means that they are metabolized in hepatocytes to produce two ketone bodies, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketone bodies are used for energy production, as well as for other biochemical processes. It is believed that ketosis may raise the seizure threshold and reduce seizure severity.
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