Effect of medium-chain TAG and exercise on satiety, energy intake and energy balance

Br J Nutr. 2019 Dec 14;122(11):1313-1320. doi: 10.1017/S0007114519002186. Epub 2019 Nov 6.


The present study examined whether the combination of medium-chain TAG (MCT) along with exercise suppresses energy intake to a greater extent compared with either intervention alone. Twelve participants consumed a porridge breakfast containing 692·9 kJ of either vegetable or MCT oil on two separate occasions: one followed by rest for 240 min and another followed by rest broken up with 1 h of cycling at 65 % $\dot V$O2peak starting at 120 min. At 240 min, participants consumed a buffet lunch to satiation and recorded their food intake for the rest of the day. Expired air samples (for calculation of energy expenditure (EE)) and subjective ratings of appetite on visual analogue scales were taken every 30 min, and gastric emptying (GE) breath samples were taken every 15 min. No effect of either breakfast or exercise condition was observed on energy intake at any time point (P > 0·05) or no effect was observed on subjective appetite ratings (P > 0·05). Exercise trials resulted in significantly higher EE compared with resting trials (2960·6 kJ, 95 % CI 2528·9, 3392·2; P < 0·001), and MCT increased resting EE over 4 h compared with long-chain TAG (LCT) (124·8 kJ, 95 % CI 13·5, 236·0; P = 0·031). GE was accelerated by exercise, regardless of the breakfast consumed, but delayed by MCT in both resting and exercise trials. The results show that exercise causes energy deficits via increased EE without promoting dietary compensation. MCT has no effect on energy intake or satiety but increases EE under resting conditions. There is no additive effect of MCT and exercise on EE, intake or appetite ratings.

Keywords: Cycling; Energy balance; Energy intake; Exercise; Medium-chain TAG; Satiety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bicycling
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Satiation / physiology*
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*


  • Triglycerides

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN15611082