Triglycerides are a form of fats or lipids that circulate in the blood. They are made up of three fatty acids and glycerol, with the glycerol holding the 3 different fatty acids together. The fatty acids within the triglyceride can be different. Both as a particularly important component of food and an important energy store in the body, triglycerides are essential and indispensable for life functions. In the course of fat metabolism, they are repeatedly and constantly built up and broken down. In times of food surplus, they are built up in the body as precisely this energy reserve. The triglycerides are mainly deposited in the fatty tissue and further amounts of triglycerides can also be stored in the liver. The triglycerides enter all body cells via the bloodstream and can be metabolised for energy production. By replacing a fatty acid with phosphorus-containing compounds, triglycerides can also be converted into phospholipids. These are the most important components of cell membranes. To a large extent, dietary fats are absorbed with food through the intestine. About 90 % of the fats that are absorbed through food are absorbed in the form of triglycerides. In food, triglycerides occur mainly as dietary fats or oils. Meat and sausage products are particularly rich in fats. As fish oils, triglycerides with unsaturated fatty acids occur in fish. Some plants also contain oils; seeds and nuts are particularly rich in oils. The body stores triglycerides in fatty tissue. They can be released when energy is needed. The body can also produce triglycerides itself, mainly this happens in the liver and also in the fatty tissue. Triglycerides can also be formed from proteins and carbohydrates. Medium-chain triglycerides, also called MCTs for short, are contained in liquid and semi-solid as well as solid medicines as excipients. They are a mixture of triglycerides of saturated fatty acids, which are obtained e.g. from coconut fat. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides are used, among other things, as excipients for the preparation of medicines, as an ointment base, for parenteral nutrition, as food supplements for sports and as solvents for active substances. Medium-chain triglycerides have fat-dissolving, skin-caring and lubricating properties.
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