Follow up on our discussion on the benefits of consuming C8 KetoMCT oil for Weight Management
Background: As noted in our primer, two large “meta analyses” (combining data from numerous individual studies) previously showed that intake of MCTs result in a reduction of body weight and body fat, with no reduction in lean fat mass26, 36. Increased thermogenesis (due to rapid and excessive oxidation of MCFA) and improved satiety (less calories consumed at subsequent meals) are two mechanisms involved.
Results: In a recent study with 19 healthy subjects, both conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and MCT intake resulted in less energy intake than control throughout the day, indicating satiety benefits6. MCTs affect appetite and satiety. Ghrelin is a stomach peptide that increases appetite and suppresses energy expenditure. One mechanism of MCTs could involve octanoylation (addition of octanoic acid from C8 MCTs) of the hormone ghrelin22. Since this would increase appetite (by activating ghrelin), more physiological studies in vivo (in living organisms) are needed. In a study with Japanese anorexia nervosa patients (an eating disorder resulting in emaciation), more than 6 grams MCT (Nestle clinical nasal formulations) per day increased ghrelin octanoylation, and increased neuropeptide Y (NPY) levels (NPY increases appetite), but without increasing body weight20. A caveat in the study was that the energy intake of the diets was fixed.
Conclusions: Although the mechanism is not fully understood, MCTs, and particularly C8, have been established to result in loss in fat mass, without loss in lean body mass. It is likely that MCTs could be combined with other nutrients to achieve additive or synergistic benefits. Possible weight gain with MCT is being evaluated in clinical conditions such as anorexia nervosa, cancer cachexia via TPN37, during radiotherapy21, and chronic respiratory deficiency.
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