Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;68(10):1134-40. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.145. Epub 2014 Jul 30.


Background: Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) enhance thermogenesis and may reduce food intake relative to long chain triglycerides (LCT). The goal of this study was to establish the effects of MCT on appetite and food intake and determine whether differences were due to differences in hormone concentrations.

Methods: Two randomized, crossover studies were conducted in which overweight men consumed 20 g of MCT or corn oil (LCT) at breakfast. Blood samples were obtained over 3 h. In Study 1 (n=10), an ad lib lunch was served after 3 h. In Study 2 (n=7), a preload containing 10 g of test oil was given at 3 h and lunch was served 1 h later. Linear mixed model analyses were performed to determine the effects of MCT and LCT oil on change in hormones and metabolites from fasting, adjusting for body weight. Correlations were computed between differences in hormones just before the test meals and differences in intakes after the two oils for Study 1 only.

Results: Food intake at the lunch test meal after the MCT preload (Study 2) was (mean±s.e.m.) 532±389 kcal vs 804±486 kcal after LCT (P<0.05). MCT consumption resulted in a lower rise in triglycerides (P=0.014) and glucose (P=0.066) and a higher rise in peptide YY (PYY, P=0.017) and leptin (P=0.036) compared with LCT (combined data). Correlations between differences in hormone levels (glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), PYY) and differences in food intake were in the opposite direction to expectations.

Conclusions: MCT consumption reduced food intake acutely but this does not seem to be mediated by changes in GLP-1, PYY and insulin.

Trial registration: NCT01952977.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Corn Oil / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Ghrelin / drug effects
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / blood
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / blood*
  • Peptide YY / blood
  • Peptide YY / drug effects
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*
  • Triglycerides / chemistry
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Triglycerides
  • Peptide YY
  • Corn Oil
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1

Associated data