1.MCT has a fast digestion. Triglycerides are mainly emulsified into small colloidal droplets in the small intestine through the action of bile acids; Under the action of pancreatic lipase, it is hydrolyzed into two molecules of fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol monoester, which is then absorbed by intestinal epithelial cells.
Due to the strong hydrophilicity of medium chain triglycerides, the formed emulsified colloidal droplets are smaller and less emulsifiers (i.e. bile acids) are required, so hydrolysis reaction is more likely to occur. In other words, medium chain triglycerides are digested faster than long-chain triglycerides.
2. MCT also has a fast absorption. Medium chain fatty acids can be absorbed directly from intestinal epithelial cells in only a few minutes, and then enter the blood circulation through hepatic portal vein. Long chain fatty acids need to re combine with glycerol to form triglycerides in intestinal epithelial cells, and then form chyle particles with apolipoprotein, phospholipid and cholesterol, and then enter the blood circulation through the lymphatic system. It takes 3 ~ 4 hours to complete. Therefore, medium chain triglycerides absorb faster than long-chain triglycerides, and are a nutrient that can quickly provide energy.
3.what more, MCT can generate energy quickly. In liver and muscle tissue, the catabolism of fatty acids is carried out in the mitochondria of cells. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids can enter mitochondria without the transport of L-carnitine shuttle system. In other words, their catabolism is not limited by the L-carnitine shuttle system.
As a result, medium chain fatty acids are more prone to oxidation than long-chain fatty acids, which can provide heat energy at any time and is not easy to be stored. In addition, because the chain of medium chain fatty acids is relatively short, they can not be used as structural materials of adipocytes before the metabolic reaction of prolonging carbon chain occurs.
For example, the main function of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) in milk is to be quickly and directly absorbed by the baby and quickly supplement energy, which is very key for premature infants, infants with weak intestinal digestion or infants with diarrhea and malnutrition recently. Unlike ordinary long-chain fat, MCT will not be stored in the body, resulting in the baby's obesity.