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Triglycerides are fats, naturally occurring esters. Humans use them for energy storage, heat loss prevention, to transport vitamins etc. A lot of dieticians classify fats as saturated and unsaturated, more interesting for us patients is if you classify Triglycerides by carbon chain length, because it impacts how easily they are taken up by small intestine. The shorter the length of this chain the easier you can absorb fatty acids.

The Short chain Fatty acids (SFCAs) they always talk about in microbiome studies are not that dietary relevant, they come from microbial fermentation of undigested nutrients. You can find tiny amounts in food, but they're not a dietary option.

What's interesting is the the medium and long long chain triglycerides.

Long-chain Triglycerides (LCT) are found in most of the fatty foods people eat including oils. It's very difficult to actually absorb, you need pancreatic enzymes and bile to break them down. People sometimes say "fat malabsorption", but humans and other monogastric animals seem terrible at digesting fats in general, it's not just malabsorption, we just don't seem to be very good at digesting fat.

Medium-chain Triglycerides (MCT) on the other hand are very easily absorbed. They're naturally occurring in breast milk of many animals, they're found some dairy products and coconut oil. but they come packaged with LCT in food.

For a few decades now the food industry has been isolating MCT from coconut oil during fat processing. MCT were just byproducts they didn't know what to do with.

These MCT form the basis for elemental nutrition.

Theres debate if it is actually these MCT, or the lack of LCT, that is helping lowering inflammation.



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Many offer this product derived from Palm but claim it is derived from Coconut as the Triglyceride make-up of Palm & Coconut when fractionated is near enough identical.