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The characteristics of medium chain triglyceride(MCT)

Aug 14, 2017

MCT has been widely used in baby milk powder in recent years and has become a popular health care product for people.

let's see what MCT is.


According to the length of carbon chain, fatty acids are divided into short chain, medium chain and long chain , generally contains 6 ~ 12 carbon atoms in the carbon chain fatty acid called medium chain fatty acid(MCFA), it is glyceride in chain fatty acid triglyceride (or medium chain triglyceride, MCT).


The triglyceride (MCT) has three characteristics:

1. The digestion speed (i.e. the hydrolysis rate) is fast.Triglycerides are mainly in the small intestine and are emulsified into tiny colloidal droplets.Under the action of pancreatic lipase, hydrolysis into two molecules of fatty acids and glycerol monoester of a molecule and then absorbed by the intestinal epithelial cells.Because the hydrophilic triglyceride is more hydrophilic, the emulsified colloidal microdroplets are smaller, and the emulsifiers (i.e. bile acids) need less, so the hydrolysis reaction is more likely to occur.In other words, triglycerides can digest faster than triglycerides.

2. Quick absorption.It takes only a few minutes for the fatty acids to be absorbed directly from the intestinal epithelial cells and then into the bloodstream through the hepatic portal vein.And long chain fatty acids in the intestinal epithelial cells combined with glycerol into triglycerides, again and again apolipoprotein, phospholipids and cholesterol chyle particle formation, and then to the lymphatic system to enter blood circulation, should be 3 ~ 4 hours to complete.Therefore, the triglyceride is absorbed faster than long chain triglyceride, which is a kind of nutrient that can provide energy quickly.

3. It is easier to be oxidized in the decomposition of metabolism.In the liver and muscle tissue, the metabolites of fatty acids are carried out in the mitochondria of the cell.Unlike long chain fatty acids, the medium chain fatty acids don't rely on the l-carnitine shuttle system to get into the mitochondria.In other words, their catabolism is not limited by the l-carnitine shuttle system.The result is that the fatty acids in the middle chain are more likely to oxidize than long chain fatty acids, which can provide heat energy at any time and are not easily stored.

In addition, due to short chains of fatty acids, they cannot be used as structural materials for adipocytes before the metabolic reactions that extend the carbon chain.Based on the above summary, medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in the main role is to be the baby milk powder fast direct absorption, quickly replenish energy.

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