Nutrition is a crucial factor in the development of cancer, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to have positive effects. MCTs are easily absorbed and quickly metabolized by the liver, producing ketone bodies under low carbohydrate conditions.
A 2019 study investigated the impact of MCTs on chemically-induced liver cancer in mice. The results showed that MCTs decreased inflammation and the main metabolite of MCTs, β-hydroxybutyrate, inhibited the growth of tumor cells. These findings suggest that MCTs may inhibit the progression of liver cancer.
Researchers treated mice with a chemical that can cause liver cancer and then divided them into two groups. One group was fed a diet high in MCTs while the other group was fed a normal diet. After 28 weeks, the mice were euthanized and their livers were examined for the presence and size of tumors, levels of certain chemicals, and amounts of a molecule called β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB).
The results showed that the mice who consumed MCTs had fewer and smaller liver tumors compared to the mice on the normal diet. Additionally, the mice fed MCTs had lower levels of chemicals that cause inflammation and oxidative stress in their livers. Their fat tissue was also healthier, with less enlargement of the fat cells and lower levels of hormones. The amount of β-HB in the blood was higher in the mice who consumed MCTs, and this molecule was found to slow the growth of liver cancer cells.
The study concludes that incorporating MCTs into your diet, either through oral supplementation or a diet high in MCTs, may be a useful addition to therapies for liver cancer. These results emphasize the importance of nutrition in preventing and treating liver cancer and the potential benefits of adding MCTs to your diet.
Study Title: Effects of Medium-chain Triglycerides Administration in Chemically-induced Carcinogenesis in Mice
Study Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31810930