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Cats and Dietary Medium-Chain Triglycerides

Trevizan L, de Mello Kessler A, Bigley KE et al: Effects of dietary medium-chain triglycerides on plasma lipids and lipoprotein distribution and food aversion in cats, Am J Vet Res 71:435, 2010.

The objective of this study was to determine if there was a possible diet aversion and lipid and lipoprotein alterations in cats fed diets containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). A group of 19 clinically normal adult female cats were divided randomly into 2 groups and fed a diet of low MCT or high MCT according to metabolic body weight for 9 weeks. Blood samples were taken after fasting on days 0, 14, 28, and 56 for measurement of plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations and lipoprotein-cholesterol distributions. MCTs are commonly found in products such as coconut oil and milk by-products. MCTs are more easily digested and absorbed, which results in a more rapid transport to the liver via the portal circulation. Because of the unique metabolism of MCT, dietary MCT supplementation may be beneficial in a number of ways. MCTs may be used in cases that have malabsorptive and maldigestion disorders. Other disorders that might benefit from their use are exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, lymphangiectasia, and chylothorax. Diets containing MCTs might help during weight reduction and for health maintenance after weight loss. In this study, safflower oil was replaced with coconut oil. The results showed no diet differences were found for food consumption, body weight, body condition score, and metabolizable energy factors. There was a significant increase in plasma triglyceride concentration detected with the high MCT diet, though the values were within the reference ranges. The authors concluded that inclusion of MCT in diets of cats did not result in feed refusal and had minimal effects on lipid metabolism. Diets such as described may be useful for both clinically normal cats and cats with metabolic disorders. [VT]

Related articles:
Wanten G, Naber A: Cellular and physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides, Mini Rev Med Chem 4:847, 2004.

Clarification for this post:

An informational response by Dr. Glenn Olah, DVM, DABVP (Feline) about this blog summary is available in a blog post on September 19, 2017.