What Are The Functions of MCTs in Goat Milk?
Studies have shown that goat milk has nutritional characteristics beneficial to health. Amongst the numerous health benefits of goat milk is contributed by the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which is the most powerful nutrient.
Goat milk contains more essential fatty acids content compared to cow milk. In addition to these high essential fatty acids, MCTs are particularly abundant in goat milk. MCTs are quickly taken up by the body thereby providing energy rapidly.
One of the most important components of goat milk in terms of proven health benefits is the percentage of medium chain fatty acids. Dietary fats are molecules of individual carbon atoms linked to chains ranging from 2 to 22 carbons in length. As for MCTs, it has shorter chain length range from 6 to 10 carbon links, compared to long chain triglycerides (LCTs) ranging from 12 to 18 carbon atoms. Shorter chain length in MCTs gives these fats a nutritional advantage in terms of absorption and energy production.
Goat milk has higher levels of MCT 30-35%, while cow milk has only 15-20%. MCT potentially decreases total cholesterol level. This also helps to boost the immune systems and provide energy without being deposited in fatty issue of the body.
In short, the health benefits of MCTs are widely known as follows:
- MCTs have shorter chain length, where it can travel quickly from gut to liver and breakdown and used as an immediate source of energy (Schönfeld & Wojtczak., 2016; Takeuchi et al., 2008).
- Benefits for those with diabetes. MCTs have been shown to reduce fat storage and increase fat burning, which can aid in managing the condition (Nagao, K., & Yanagita, T., 2010; Han et al., 2007).
- MCT consumption led to greater losses of adipose tissue due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation observed with MCT intake. Thus, MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss (St‐Onge et al., 2003).
Fat is an essential nutrient contributing to the health and functioning of the body. Goat milk is rich in shorter chain triglycerides, thus making it a healthy dietary fat source and therapeutic benefits in increasing energy levels, diabetes, weight management and nutrient malabsorption.
Schönfeld, P., & Wojtczak, L. (2016). Short-and medium-chain fatty acids in energy metabolism: the cellular perspective. Journal of lipid research, 57(6), 943-954.
Takeuchi, H., Sekine, S., Kojima, K., & Aoyama, T. (2008). The application of medium-chain fatty acids: edible oil with a suppressing effect on body fat accumulation. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 17.
Nagao, K., & Yanagita, T. (2010). Medium-chain fatty acids: functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Pharmacological research, 61(3), 208-212.
Han, J. R., Deng, B., Sun, J., Chen, C. G., Corkey, B. E., Kirkland, J. L., … & Guo, W. (2007). Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects. Metabolism, 56(7), 985-991.
St‐Onge, M. P., Ross, R., Parsons, W. D., & Jones, P. J. (2003). Medium‐chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obesity research, 11(3), 395-402.
Header photo credit: Food photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com