Study: MCT Potential More in Health than Exercise Performance

November 10/Oxford, U.K./Food Weekly News -- According to a study from Oxford, U.K., "Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are triglycerides with a fatty acid chain length varying between six and 10 carbon atoms. MCT differ from long-chain triglycerides, as they are relatively soluble in water and, hence, rapidly hydrolyzed and absorbed."

"MCT are transported in the blood through the portal system; consequently, they bypass adipose tissue that makes them less susceptible to hormone-sensitive lipase and deposition into adipose tissue stores. Due to these properties, MCT have been researched for both benefits to exercise performance and health. The present review aims to assess whether MCT are beneficial in either of these situations. MCT have been proposed as a means to maximizing an athlete's ability to maintain their glycogen stores, so they can be more competitive. However, only two studies to date have shown an improvement in exercise performance. From a health perspective, MCT increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure as well as reduce food intake and beneficially alter body composition," wrote M.E. Clegg and colleagues, Oxford Brookes University.

The researchers concluded, "MCT feeding is ineffective in improving exercise performance, and future work should focus on the health benefits and applications of MCT."

Clegg and colleagues published the results of their research in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition ("Medium-chain Triglycerides are Advantageous in Promoting Weight Loss Although not Beneficial to Exercise Performance." International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2010;61(7):653-679).

For additional information, contact M.E. Clegg, Oxford Brookes University, School Life Science, Functioning Food Center, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP, United Kingdom.

From the November 16, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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