It has been shown previously that medium chain triglycerides (MCT) do not affect gallbladder emptying and cholecystokinin (CCK) release. The effect of MCT on exocrine pancreas secretion in humans is unknown. We have compared the effect of enteral administration of MCT versus long chain triglycerides (LCT) on exocrine pancreatic secretion. Eight healthy subjects (three female, five male; mean age 22 +/- 1.9 years) participated in two experiments, performed in random order. Duodenal contents, obtained by aspiration, were used to calculated the output of pancreatic enzymes and bilirubin. An equicaloric amount of either MCT or LCT (2 kcal min-1) oil was continuously administered in the proximal jejunum for 2 h. Gallbladder volume was measured by ultrasonography and blood samples were drawn for determination of CCK. The experiments consisted of 1 h basal secretion, 2 h of continuous oil administration and 1 h poststimulation. During the LCT feeding the pancreatic enzyme secretion, bilirubin output, gallbladder emptying and CCK release increased significantly (P < 0.05) over basal levels. MCT had no effect on pancreatic enzyme secretion nor gallbladder emptying or CCK release. We conclude that enteral administration of MCT in the proximal jejunum does not stimulate exocrine pancreatic secretion nor gallbladder contraction or CCK release, in contrast to an equicaloric amount of LCT.