Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) ketogenic therapy

Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49 Suppl 8:33-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01830.x.


The medium-chain triglyceride diet (MCTD) is a variant of the classic 4:1 ketogenic diet (KD) introduced in 1971 by Huttenlocher as an attempt to improve the palatability of the KD by allowing more carbohydrates yet preserving ketosis. Although initially found to be equally effective as the classic KD, use of the MCTD declined because of frequent gastrointestinal side effects such as cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Recently, we have used the MCTD in more than 50 patients. We have found excellent seizure control, similar to the classic KD, and with careful monitoring, we have encountered minimal side effects. The MCTD should remain a viable dietary option for children with refractory epilepsy who have large appetites, can tolerate more calories, or cannot accept the restrictions of the classic KD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Ketogenic / methods*
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Humans
  • Triglycerides / chemistry
  • Triglycerides / therapeutic use*


  • Triglycerides