A rat study showed MCT Oil increased liver size (Shannon L. Kesl,corresponding author Angela M. Poff, Nathan P. Ward, Tina N. Fiorelli, Csilla Ari, Ashley J. Van Putten, Jacob W. Sherwood, Patrick Arnold, and Dominic P. D’Agostino. Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride, and lipoprotein levels in Sprague–Dawley rats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016; 13: 9.).
MCT supplemented animals had significantly larger livers compared to their body weight (p < 0.05).
The study offered a possible explanation for the larger liver size.
The ratio of liver to body weight was significantly higher in the MCT supplemented animals (Fig. 5). MCTs are readily absorbed in the intestinal lumen and transported directly to the liver via hepatic portal circulation. When given a large bolus, such as in this study, the amount of MCTs in the liver will likely exceed the β-oxidation rate, causing the MCTs to be deposited in the liver as fat droplets. The accumulated MCT droplets in the liver could explain the higher liver weight to body weight percentage observed with MCT supplemented rats.
The rats were fed a large amount of MCT Oil.
It should be emphasized that the dose in this study is not optimized in humans. We speculate that an optimized human dose would be lower and may not cause hepatomegaly or potential fat accumulation.
Another study indicates positive results when MCT Oil replaces Corn Oil (Ronis MJ, Baumgardner JN, Sharma N, Vantrease J, Ferguson M, Tong Y, Wu X, Cleves MA, Badger TM. Medium chain triglycerides dose-dependently prevent liver pathology in a rat model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2013 Feb; 238(2):151-62.).
These data suggest that replacing unsaturated fats like corn oil with MCT oil in the diet could be utilized as a potential treatment for NAFLD.
This could be something that people who love their Bulletproof Coffee might want to pay attention to.