A comparison has been made between the ability of long-chain triglycerides (LCT) and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) to prevent weight loss induced by the cachexia-inducing colon adenocarcinoma (MAC16) and to reduce tumour size. There was no difference in calorie consumption or nitrogen intake between the various groups. When compared with a normal control high carbohydrate, low fat diet, animals fed MCT showed a reduced weight loss and a marked reduction in tumour size. In contrast neither weight loss nor tumour size differed significantly from the controls in animals fed the LCT diet. An elevated plasma level of 3-hydroxybuturate was found only in the animals fed the MCT diets. Administration of LCT caused an increase in the plasma level of FFA, which was not observed in the MCT group. These results suggest that diets containing MCT would provide the best ketogenic regime to reverse the weight loss in cancer cachexia with a concomitant reduction in tumour size.