Medium-chain-triglyceride lipid emulsion: Metabolism and tissue distribution

Robert C. Johnson, Susan K. Young, Richard Cotter, Lawrence Lin, W. Bruce Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The utilization and distribution of radioactively labeled lipid emulsions were evaluated in Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals received one of three lipid emulsions. Group 1 received [14C]medium-chain-triglyceride (MCT) lipid emulsion, group 2 received a 75%:25% (vol:vol) admixture of [14C]MCT:unlabeled long-chain-triglyceride (LCT) lipid emulsion, and group 3 received only [14C]LCT. The radioactive dose appearing in expired carbon dioxide and various body tissues was monitored over a 24-h period. Results indicate that MCT is oxidized more rapidly and completely than in LCT; ∼90% of the MCT is converted to carbon dioxide within 24 h compared with 45% for LCT. When MCT and LCT are administered together, the metabolism of MCT is slowed but remains more rapid than that of LCT. Removal of MCT from the blood was more rapid than was removal of LCT, and tissue radioactivity was lower.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Fat clearance
  • Long-chain triglyceride (LCT)
  • MCT-LCT distribution
  • MCT-LCT metabolism
  • Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT)
  • Oxidation
  • Tracers
  • [C]MCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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