, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 287–294 | Cite as

Influence of medium-chain triglycerides on lipid metabolism in the rat

  • Gilbert A. Leveille
  • Ronald S. Pardini
  • Jerry Ann Tillotson


Lipid metabolism was studied in rats fed diets containing corn oil, coconut oil, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), a glyceride mixture containing fatty acids of 8 and 10 carbons in length. The ingestion of MCT-supplemented, cholesterolfree diets depressed plasma and liver total lipids and cholesterol as compared with corn oil-supplemented diets. In rats fed cholesterol-containing diets, plasma cholesterol levels were not influenced by dietary MCT, but liver cholesterol levels were significantly lower than in animals fed corn oil. In vitro cholesterol synthesis from acetate-1-14C was lower in liver slices of rats that consumed MCT than in similar preparations from corn oil-fed rats. Studies of fatty acid carboxyl labeling from acetate-1-14C and the conversion of palmitate-1-14C to C18 acids by liver slices showed that chain-lengthening activity is greater in the liver tissue of rats fed MCT than in the liver of animals fed corn oil. The hepatic fatty acid desaturation mechanisms, evaluated by measuring the conversion of stearate-2-14C to oleate, was also enhanced by feeding MCT.

Adipose tissue of rats fed MCT converts acetate-1-14C to fatty acids at a much faster rate than does tissue from animals fed corn oil. Evidence is presented to show that the enhanced incorporation of acetate into fatty acids by the adipose tissue of rats fed MCT represents de novo synthesis of fatty acids and not chain-lengthening activity. Data are also presented on the fatty acid composition of plasma, liver, and adipose tissue lipids of rats fed the different fats under study.


Liver Lipid Liver Slice Hepatic Cholesterol Synthesis Liver Cholesterol Level Adipose Tissue Fatty Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert A. Leveille
    • 1
  • Ronald S. Pardini
    • 1
  • Jerry Ann Tillotson
    • 1
  1. 1.U. S. Army Medical Research and Nutrition LaboratoryFitzsimmons General HospitalDenver

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