4

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hack this research: does MCT cause fatty liver disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Disrupted fat distribution and composition due to medium-chain triglycerides in mice with a ??-oxidation defect. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21697078

Fatty liver and medium chain triglyceride (MCT) diet. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1779080/

if it is possible that consuming high amounts of MCT is putting extra stress on the liver, could this be the cause of stomach discomfort some experience when using it? should those with impaired liver function avoid high amounts of MCT?

could there be long term consequences of MCT oil supplementation that we aren't taking into account?

is it possible that high consumption of MCT oil is unnatural and not a good Paleolithic approach to optimizing health?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 07:29 AM

ah, the old Chinese saying, eat what ails you, ie. liver for the liver. (eggs for your eggs doesn't really work tho, unless maybe you are trying to become pregnant?)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 07:29 AM

ah, the old Chinese saying, eat what ails you, ie. liver for the liver. (eggs for you eggs doesn't really work tho, unless maybe you are trying to become pregnant?)

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4 Answers

4
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 20, 2012
at 11:38 PM

I don't think this proves MCT's are unnatural and should be avoided. Here's my explanation:

High fat (especially saturated fat) diets without sufficient choline likely increase the likelihood of fatty liver disease. This is because choline deficiency is a huge driver of fatty liver disease. Since fat increases choline need, it becomes easier to become choline deficient on a high fat diet.

MCT diets for epilepsy, which are certainly high fat, could likely also be low in choline generating nutrients (like methionine) and choline sparing nutrients (like folate and betaine) and thus lead to choline deficiency and contribute to NAFLD.

And if anything, MCT's likely increase liver fat less than things like butter and tallow, since longer chain sat fats increase choline need more than the medium chain kind. See this post by Chris Masterjohn, or this graph from that post:

So the more fat you eat (especially when saturated), the more choline you need to avoid liver fat accumulation. Possible solution: eat more eggs and liver.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 07:29 AM

ah, the old Chinese saying, eat what ails you, ie. liver for the liver. (eggs for your eggs doesn't really work tho, unless maybe you are trying to become pregnant?)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 07:29 AM

ah, the old Chinese saying, eat what ails you, ie. liver for the liver. (eggs for you eggs doesn't really work tho, unless maybe you are trying to become pregnant?)

3
489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on September 20, 2012
at 11:09 PM

The second study is about people on a medical ketogenic diet, it is not full of natural foods and fats like the typical person who is in ketosis on the paleo diet and has lots of junk in it. It allows and even encourages canola and other omega6 oils, and allows fake sugars. The amount of MCTs are also very high, and not a whole food either.

It is a big leap to blame just the MCTs, and then another leap to think that small amounts of it would act the same.

I, for one, will not worry about it. I will stay a fat burner most of the time and continue to enjoy my coconut oil.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

I'd be inclined to not worry about the first paper. Mice aren't people AND these were engineered to have a defect in Beta-oxidation. Doesn't seem really relevant.

I'd be more worried for people who have to stay deeply-keto who are relying on a lot of coconut and mct. Just my opinion but I really don't think we need to add lots, and lots of oil to our food. What we get from eggs, meat, avocado, and cooking lube is plenty in most cases. If you run better on higher fat and don't wanna muck about with carbs I think it becomes important to diversify.

0
0fc1c45d85754d5b2d353eac0b699083

on September 21, 2012
at 03:05 AM

take milk thistle if you want to cleanse your liver...

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