MCTs are medium-chain triglyceride fatty acids found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and some dairy products like goat milk.
MCTs are metabolized differently in the body than other fats. MCTs are easily digested. MCTS do not require bile acids to be broken down and they go directly to the liver making them a quick source of energy for the body. Unlike other fats, which take much longer to process, MCTs are not stored as fat.
MCTs can be turned into ketones which can cross the blood brain barrier and be used as a rapid energy source for the brain.
MCT oil is safe for use in children with autism and epilepsy. For both conditions, a therapeutic MCT diet has been shown to improve symptoms. The ketogenic/MCT diet used for children with epilepsy is not the same as ketogenic diets promoted for weight loss in adults. MCT diets for kids with autism or epilepsy should be followed under the guidance of a dietitian or doctor.
MCT oil is also used as a source of calories for children with liver disease and infection and for children who have reduced small intestine surface areas to help ensure adequate caloric intake. MCT oil contains caprylic acid, a medium chain fatty acid that has been shown to help lower the risk of antibiotic resistance and soothe inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis and Crohn’s.