Effects of dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols on serum lipoproteins and biochemical parameters in healthy men

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 Aug;66(8):1713-8. doi: 10.1271/bbb.66.1713.


The objective of this study was to investigate effects of dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCTs) on serum lipid levels, liver function, and hepatic fat accumulations in healthy men. Eleven subjects consumed 2200-2600 kcal daily, of which 70-80 g was fat; the fat included 40 g of MCTs or else 40 g of long-chain triacylglycerols (blended vegetable oil). The diet was followed for 4 weeks in this controlled double-blind study. At the end of the experiment, significant differences were not found in the concentrations of serum total cholesterol, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol between the groups. Serum triglycerol levels were not significantly different in the groups. Adverse effects from ingestion of MCTs on liver functions, the liver-to-spleen ratio on computed tomography (an index of fatty liver), or results of blood tests were not seen. The results suggest that the long-term effects of dietary MCTs on serum cholesterol were similar to those of unsaturated fatty acids found abundantly in vegetable oil, and that consumption of MCTs in the amount of 40 g/day for a month does not cause liver fat accumulation or liver dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Urinalysis


  • Dietary Fats
  • Lipoproteins
  • Plant Oils
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol