Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are the main form of Medium Chain Triglycerides
(MCTs) utilized by monogastric animals. MCFAs can be directly absorbed and supply rapid energy to
promote the renewal and repair of intestinal epithelial cells, maintain the integrity of intestinal mucosal
barrier function, and reduce inflammation and stress. In our review, we pay more attention to the role
of MCFAs on intestinal microbiota and mucosa immunity to explore MCFA's positive effect. It was
found that MCFAs and their esterified forms can decrease pathogens while increasing probiotics. In
addition, being recognized via specific receptors, MCFAs are capable of alleviating inflammation to a
certain extent by regulating inflammation and immune-related pathways. MCFAs may also have a
certain value to relieve intestinal allergy and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Unknown mechanism
of various MCFA characteristics still causes dilemmas in the application, thus MCFAs are used generally
in limited dosages and combined with short-chain organic acids (SOAs) to attain ideal results. We
hope that further studies will provide guidance for the practical use of MCFAs in animal feed.
Keywords: Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), microbiota, gut barrier, inflammation.
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