What To Eat When You Have MCAD Deficiency?

MCAD deficiency is the condition in which the body is unable to process medium chain fatty acids and transform it into energy. Thus, the body is largely dependent on glucose as a source of energy. Any energy demanding condition or fasting condition in such patients leads to severe symptoms. The diet of these patients should be adequately managed.

What To Eat When You Have MCAD Deficiency?

What To Eat When You Have MCAD Deficiency?

Avoid Skipping Meals Or Fasting: MCAD deficiency is generally not diagnosed until the patient experiences its symptoms. After the disease is diagnosed, the patient should not avoid meals or never go on fasting, so that the adequate level of glucose is maintained in the body. Any meal skipping or fasting may reduce the glucose to go at dangerously low level leading to life-threatening consequences.

Frequent Eating: In order to avoid fluctuations in blood glucose level, it is recommended that the patients of MCAD deficiency should frequently eat. It is advised to eat in every four hours.

Carnitine: L-carnitine should be incorporated in the diet so as to provide energy to the body. Further, carnitine also helps in removing waste from the body. It helps in enhancing the function of mitochondria, which are known as the power house of the cells. It also helps in improving the exercise tolerance of the patient by removing the accumulated acyl moieties.

Carbohydrate: Low-fat high-carbohydrate diet is generally recommended for the patient of MCAD deficiency. The complex carbohydrate are better options as compared to simple carbohydrates as the complex carbohydrates take more time to digest and thus provides a sustained form of energy. The carbohydrate may be in the form of brown bread, porridge, whole meal foods and rice.

Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera assists in digestion and also helps in breaking down the complex food in intestine. Bloating, gas and constipation are also managed by aloe vera.

Soy Milk: Soy milk is a better option as compared to dairy products as dairy products contain some fats which are unable to proceed in the body. These fats accumulate in the liver and causes liver diseases. Calcium may also be added with soy milk and the flavored version can be used for improving palatability.

Vitamins: Vitamin supplement also helps in ease the condition of MCAD deficiency and also reduce the recurrence of symptoms. Vitamins acts as cofactors in many reactions required for the generation of energy.

MCAD Deficiency Symptoms

MCAD deficiency is defined by the inability of the body to convert medium chain fatty acids in to energy. Whenever the body is under energy-crunchy situation, and the glucose depot is exhausted, the body shows the following symptoms:

Nervous System: Nervous system is the organ system in the body that requires continuous flow of energy. If the nervous system is in the state of lack of energy, the electrical signals become disruptive leading to seizures. If the neurons remain energy-less for a long period, the cells start dying leading to coma. The other symptoms related to MCAD deficiency in nervous system include severe dizziness and vomiting.

Muscular System: Muscular system, especially smooth muscles and cardio muscles, need energy for optimum functioning. In the MCAD deficiency, ability of the body in converting energy from fats is drastically reduced. This may cause abnormal functioning of the smooth muscles. Abnormal functioning of cardiac muscles leads to cardiac arrest.

Respiratory Depression: Diaphragm is attached to the respiratory system and requires continuous flow of energy. Any decrease in the energy leads to the depression in the respiratory process.

Hepatic Failure: In MCAD deficiency, the ability of the body in processing medium chain fatty acids to energy is reduced. This leads to the accumulation of fatty acids in the liver causing abnormal liver functioning. Further, MCAD deficiency also causes hepatomegaly.

Death: If the conditions of respiratory depression and cardiac arrest are not managed instantly, the death of the patient may occur.


The person with MCAD deficiency should take care of his diet. The diet should contain ugh carbohydrate and low fat and also contains carnitine and vitamins. The patient is advised to eat frequently and not to skip meals.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 16, 2019

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