Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil has been shown to be beneficial to underweight neonates. However, it is difficult for them to consume adequate amounts without vomiting. The oil has been shown to absorb well through neonate skin, and massage with the oil has been shown to improve growth and development of newborns. Moderate massage pressure has been shown to be best.
The present study was about newborn weight gain with MCT oil. The patients were all newborns under 28 days of age. There were 121 patients in 3 different groups: (1) MCT oil massage group. (2) Dry massage group. (3) Control group. The patients were all weighed at 8:00 AM daily. The MCT massage group was massaged for 5 minutes 4 times daily for one week. The body below the neck was massaged with MCT at 10 cc/kg body weight per day. Group 2 was massaged with the same technique without the oil, and the control group was not massaged.
Vagal nerve* activity is enhanced by massage, and neonates who have more vagal nerve activity are more likely to benefit from massage therapy. Administration of oil to the skin can compensate for deficiencies in neonates. It can increase weight gain without interfering with lipid metabolism.
Group 1 with MCT massage gained 105 grams weight per day. The dry massage group gained about 52 grams per day. The control group gained about 54 grams per day. However, some of these control patients did have weight loss.
CONCLUSION: Newborns massaged daily with MCT oil have more weight gain than those which received dry massage or no massage at all. Daily massage promotes weight gain in neonates without complication.
NOTE: *Vagal (vagus) nerve is part of the autonomic nervous system which goes from the brain to the digestive tract, heart, and lungs. It is parasympathetic, and functions to slow the heart and intestinal activity.
Rainbow Grocery sells the following products:: MCT oil, liquid.