Medium-and-Long Chain Triacylglycerol (MLCT) is a type of structured lipid that is made up of medium chain, MCFA (C8-C12) and long chain, LCFA (C16-C22) fatty acid. Studies claimed that consumption of MLCT has the potential in reducing visceral fat accumulation as compared to long chain triacylglycerol, LCT. This is mainly attributed to the rapid metabolism of MCFA as compared to LCFA. Our study was designed to compare the anti-obesity effects of a enzymatically interesterified MLCT (E-MLCT) with physical blend of palm kernel and palm oil (B-PKOPO) having similar fatty acid composition and a commercial MLCT (C-MLCT) made of rapeseed/soybean oil on Diet Induced Obesity (DIO) C57BL/6J mice for a period of four months in low fat, LF (7%) and high fat, HF (30%) diet. The main aim was to determine if the anti-obesity effect of MLCT was contributed solely by its triacylglycerol structure alone or its fatty acid composition or both. Out of the three types of MLCT, mice fed with Low Fat, LF (7%) E-MLCT had significantly (P<0.05) lower body weight gain (by ~30%), body fat accumulation (by ~37%) and hormone leptin level as compared to both the LF B-PKOPO and LF C-MLCT. Histological examination further revealed that dietary intake of E-MLCT inhibited hepatic lipid accumulation. Besides, analysis of serum profile also demonstrated that consumption of E-MLCT was better in regulating blood glucose compared to B-PKOPO and C-MLCT. Nevertheless, both B-PKO-PO and E-MLCT which contained higher level of myristic acid was found to be hypercholesterolemic compared to C-MLCT. In summary, our finding showed that triacylglycerol structure, fatty acid composition and fat dosage play a pivotal role in regulating visceral fat accumulation. Consumption of E-MLCT in low fat diet led to a significantly lesser body fat accumulation. It was postulated that the MLM/MLL/LMM/MML/LLM types of triacylglycerol and C8-C12 medium chain fatty acids were the main factors that contributed to the visceral fat suppressing effect of MLCT. Despite being able to reduce body fat, the so called healthful functional oil E-MLCT when taken in high amount do resulted in fat accumulation. In summary, E-MLCT when taken in moderation can be used to manage obesity issue. However, consumption of E-MLCT may lead to higher total cholesterol and LDL level.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.