Enhancing Endurance And Mitochondrial Health With MCT's

Enhancing Endurance And Mitochondrial Health With MCT's

Medium Chain Triglycerides: Enhancing Exercise Endurance and Mitochondrial Health


Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of dietary supplement often used to treat various food absorption disorders. Recent studies have highlighted MCTs' potential benefits, including weight loss and improved metabolic health. However, their role in enhancing exercise endurance has been less clear. A recent study aimed to investigate this potential, revealing that MCTs might significantly improve exercise performance through enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism.

In this blog we cover the highlights of a study entitled: “Medium Chain Triglycerides enhances exercise endurance through the increased mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism”


What are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)?

MCTs are triglycerides composed of medium-chain fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 6–12 carbon atoms. They are found in high concentrations in natural foods like coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Unlike long-chain triglycerides, MCTs are quickly broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream, providing a rapid energy source.


The Study

Researchers conducted an experiment to determine if MCTs could enhance exercise performance, especially under high-temperature conditions. Male ICR mice were divided into three groups and fed either a regular chow diet or an MCT-supplemented diet for seven days before starting an exercise regimen.



  • Participants: 12-week-old male ICR mice.
  • Diet: Regular chow with or without MCT supplementation.
  • Exercise: Treadmill training at normal and high temperatures, followed by a performance test



The study found that:

  1. Body Weight and Food Intake: MCT supplementation did not significantly affect body weight or food intake under high-temperature conditions.
  2. Exercise Performance: Mice fed with MCTs showed significantly better exercise performance, with over a two-fold increase in running time under high temperature compared to the control group.
  3. Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Metabolism: MCTs increased the expression and protein levels of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism.
  4. Signaling Pathways: The improvement in mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism was linked to the activation of Akt and AMPK signaling pathways and inhibition of TGF-β signaling.



The findings suggest that MCTs can improve exercise performance by enhancing mitochondrial function. This improvement is mediated through key metabolic pathways, highlighting the potential of MCTs as a beneficial supplement for athletes and individuals looking to enhance their exercise capacity and overall metabolic health.



This study provides the first evidence that MCT supplementation can mitigate heat-induced exercise impairment and enhance muscle function through mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolic regulation. These findings open new avenues for using MCTs in managing exercise-related muscle dysfunction and optimizing physical performance.

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