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A comprehensive study of duodenal bile salts in newborn infants and their relationship to fat absorption

  • John F. T. Glasgow
  • Hilary Dinsmore
  • Ayesha Molla
  • Thomas Macfarlane
Article

Summary

Total and individual duodenal bile salt concentrations measured during digestion of an amino acid-based test feed are compared with dietary fat absorption in 50 children. Thirty-six were newborn infants, of whom 21 were fed evaporated milk (group 1), and 15 a modified formula (group 2); 16 were older children who served as ‘controls’ (group 3). Total bile salt levels in resting duodenal contents were similar in all the groups, but in groups 1 and 2 these were significantly lower following the feed (P<0.01) and associated with appreciable fat malabsorption. Very low levels of bile salt were recorded during the first 2 hours with levels often less than the critical micellar concentration (CMC) in association with a 2-fold, or greater, dilution of bowel contents by test feed. Significant negative correlations were present in group 1 between dilution and bile salt levels between 1/2 and 2 hours (P<0.05–P<0.001). In groups 1 and 2 many significant correlations were demonstrable between fat excretion (and absorption) and bile salt concentrations, infant’s gestational age, length and other epidemiological data.

In group 3 fat absorption was normal and although bile salt concentrations per unit body weight were significantly lower than in newborns (P<0.05), the actual levels were usually above the CMC.

Thin layer chromatography separation of individual bile salts revealed a strikingly low proportion (11%) of glycine conjugated dihydroxy salts in newborns; these were much lower than the taurine conjugates (P<0.001). The overall glycine to taurine ratios were widely scattered and no difference was shown between the means (1.7–1.9). In 5 babies aged less than one week at the time of study, however, this was 0.8. Taurolithocholic acid was less frequently isolated in the newborns (P<0.05), and within this overall group there was an interestingnegative correlation between its concentration and infant’s weight (P<0.05).

Keywords

Bile Acid Taurine Bile Salt IRISH Journal Critical Micellar Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • John F. T. Glasgow
    • 2
    • 1
  • Hilary Dinsmore
    • 2
    • 1
  • Ayesha Molla
    • 2
    • 1
  • Thomas Macfarlane
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick ChildrenBelfastUK
  2. 2.Department of Child HealthThe Queen’s University of Belfast, Institute of Clinical ScienceBelfast

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