We report the case of a 43-year-old man with history of nonsurgical partial epilepsy who previously failed multiple trials of antiepileptic drugs. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) were added to his regular diet in the form of pure oil. Subsequently, his seizure frequency was markedly reduced from multiple daily seizures to one seizure every four days. His seizures recurred after transient discontinuation of MCT over a period of ten days. His seizure improvement was achieved at a dose of four tablespoons of MCT twice daily with no reported side effects. He developed significant diarrhea and flatulence at higher doses. We conclude that MCT oil supplementation to regular diet may provide better seizure control in some patients. MCT oil supplementation may be a more tolerable alternative to the standard ketogenic diet.
Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil Supplement (less strict approach)
The MCT Oil Supplement diet is often used in England and Canada, yet seldom used in the United States. The MCT diet is more flexible and a larger variety of food can be included due to the higher carbohydrate and protein allowance. MCT refers to the type of oil (medium-chain triglyceride), which produces ketones more easily than LCT (long-chain triglyceride) fat. This means that less total fat is needed, thus allowing more carbohydrate and protein to be included in the regimen.
Bottom Line: Coconut and palm kernel oils are rich sources of medium-chain triglycerides, but MCT oil supplements contain much larger amounts.