Previously on the blog, we've written about the amazing health benefits of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). In fact, we published a complete guide explaining what MCTs are and how they are used by the body. Veterinarians also know that MCT oil for dogs with epilepsy has proven to be promising.
In this post, we'll take a look at a very recent study that demonstrates how MCT oil can help support dogs with seizures. Keep reading to find out more about this exciting new research and its implications. We'll also explain why CocoTherapy TriPlex MCT-3 Oil is highly beneficial for dogs with seizures.
How Was the Study Carried Out?
The study we'll explore is titled Efficacy of medium chain triglyceride oil dietary supplementation in reducing seizure frequency in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy without cluster seizures: a non-blinded, prospective clinical trial. It was first published in June of 2020. Let’s examine how the study was carried out.
The study was designed to analyze whether a diet high in MCTs would help reduce seizure frequency in epileptic dogs that are currently being treated with anti-seizure medications. This is important because many anti-seizure drugs can cause serious adverse effects in dogs. In addition, anti-seizure medications are not always effective at reducing seizure frequency.
The researchers studied twenty-two pet dogs with idiopathic (cause unknown) epilepsy. The dogs were recruited and included in the trial based on multiple criteria. One of the most important requirements was that each dog must have experienced at least three seizures in the previous three months. The dogs must also have been treated with at least one antiepileptic drug for a minimum of one year. The dogs in the study group were fed a diet high in MCTs. The researchers then monitored seizure activity for a period of three months.
What Exactly Are the Findings of the Study?
So, what exactly did the researchers discover after monitoring seizure frequency in the dogs that were fed a diet high in MCTs? In this section of the post, we'll highlight some of the main findings of the study.
The results of the study demonstrate that the dogs fed a diet high in MCTs had a significant reduction in seizures. Let's dive into some of the statistics:
1) As a result of feeding the diet for 84 days, the mean seizure day rate significantly declined by 42%.
This means that the dogs studied had 42% less seizures per day on average.
2) 9.5% of dogs became seizure free.
2 out of the 21 dogs (1 was removed from the study because they didn't eat enough) became completely seizure free.
3) 42.9% of dogs had ≥50% reduction in seizure days.
9 out of the 21 dogs studied had a greater than or equal to 50% reduction in days when seizures occurred.
4) Overall, 16 of 21 dogs (76.2%) experienced fewer seizure days with the test diet.
This statistic shows that the diet high in MCTs had a significant effect on how often most dogs experienced seizures.
Another Research on MCT Oil for Dogs with Epilepsy and Seizure Control in Dogs
In a separate study published in April 2020, researchers compared two groups of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. One group was fed a daily oil-based supplement high in MCTs, while the other group received olive oil.
Of the twenty-eight dogs studied, 71% experienced reduced seizure frequency. And 48% had a reduction in seizure frequency equal to or greater than 50%. What's more, 14% of the dogs became completely seizure free. In conclusion, the study showed that overall seizure and seizure-day frequency were significantly lower in dogs that had the MCT oil dietary supplement added to their diet.
So, how do MCTs help reduce seizure frequency in dogs? In the first study we looked at, the researchers shed some light on the reasons behind their encouraging findings:
"Although the exact mechanism of action of MCTs is not fully known, proposed mechanisms include provision of an alternative energy supply to the brain (energy metabolism is insufficient in epileptic dogs), global changes in lipid metabolism and effects on cerebral neurotransmitters."
The researchers also point out that, "the mechanism of action of the traditional ketogenic diets, as well as diets containing MCTs, goes beyond ketone production. Medium chain fatty acids are efficient in crossing the blood-brain barrier, unlike long chain fatty acids, and can be directly oxidized in the brain."
In the final section of this post, we'll explain why CocoTherapy TriPlex MCT-3 Oil is highly beneficial for supporting dogs with seizures.
CocoTherapy TriPlex MCT-3 Oil and Seizure Control in Dogs
As the researchers highlighted in the quotes above, MCTs are thought to reduce seizure frequency as they provide an alternative energy supply to the brain. CocoTherapy TriPlex MCT-3 Oil (MCT oil for dogs) is composed of a minimum of 93% medium-chain triglycerides, with higher levels of Caprylic Acid (C:8) and Capric Acid (C:10), plus Lauric Acid (C:12).
The high levels of Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid in TriPlex MCT-3 convert to ketones in the liver, raising blood ketone levels quickly and efficiently. In addition, Lauric Acid is then converted to ketones at a slightly slower rate, sustaining blood ketones for prolonged cellular energy and food for the brain. For this reason, TriPlex MCT-3 has very pronounced therapeutic effects on brain health. It also protects against yeast overgrowth and provides a rapid and sustained source of energy.
It is important to note that although Lauric Acid may be converted to ketones by the liver at a slower rate (compared to Caprylic and Capric Acids), research has shown that if it is not converted into ketones immediately by the liver, it will travel directly to the brain and be converted to ketones by the brain itself, increasing brain ketone levels. Further studies have shown that Lauric Acid reduces the formation of amyloid plaque (a substance that causes Alzheimer’s disease).
Ketones themselves have no antimicrobial effect and cannot defend the brain against infection. Although Caprylic Acid does have some antimicrobial effect, it cannot reach the brain via the bloodstream to defend against infection. Lauric acid, on the other hand, is partly converted into ketones by the liver, while the rest enters the bloodstream where it can reach the brain and defend it against infection as well as be converted into ketones in the brain.
While Caprylic Acid raises blood ketones higher than Lauric Acid, it does not directly raise brain ketone levels. Blood ketones provide cellular energy, aid with fatigue, and when they do cross the blood-brain barrier, provide a source of quick brain food for the brain’s energy needs. Lauric Acid, however, when converted to ketones directly in the brain, increases brain ketone levels higher than Caprylic Acid. This is crucial for reducing brain inflammation and degeneration.
Caprylic and Capric acids raise blood ketones and peak in around 1.5 hours. They are completely assimilated in 3 hours. Lauric Acid then increases blood ketones to therapeutic levels, peaks in about 3 hours, and remains elevated for a full 8 hours. For this reason, the combination of the three medium-chain fatty acids provides overall greater and longer-lasting benefits.
Our MCT oil for dogs is an effective oil for use in keto diet for dogs as well.
Want to find out more about CocoTherapy TriPlex MCT-3 Oil? Check out our previous post.