The medium chain triglyceride diet and intractable epilepsy

Arch Dis Child. 1986 Dec;61(12):1168-72. doi: 10.1136/adc.61.12.1168.


Fifty children with drug resistant epilepsy were treated with the Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Emulsion diet. Eight achieved complete control of seizures (four without anticonvulsant drugs), and with the addition of anticonvulsants four had seizures reduced in frequency by 90% and 10 by 50-90%. The best results were obtained with astatic myoclonic and absence seizures, but control of seizures was improved in four children with tonic-clonic and three with complex partial seizures. Food given at the same time as MCT helped to reduce side effects, and an extra dose of MCT before bedtime improved control of nocturnal seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Resistance
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / diet therapy
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy, Absence / diet therapy
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diet therapy
  • Humans
  • Triglycerides / adverse effects
  • Triglycerides / therapeutic use*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Triglycerides