Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Fat Absorption

  • Manjunath HarlapurEmail author
  • Daichi Shimbo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1260-2



The absorption of the fat begins in the intestine with the help of several enzymes which is closely regulated by local hormones.


More than 90% of dietary fat is in the form of triacylglycerol (TAG). The remainder of the fat is in the form of cholesterol, cholesteryl esters, phospholipids, and free fatty acids, which are unesterified. The mechanism of fat absorption includes degradation by the local enzymes, mediated by the hormones in the gastrointestinal system.

The digestion of the lipids begins in the stomach, when the food content is mixed with salivary lipase produced in the mouth. The gastric lipase is produced by the stomach and salivary lipase, which are resistant to gastric acidity, helps the breakdown of short- and medium-chain TAG molecules. Once the lipid-rich food reaches the duodenum, which is the first part of small intestine, the process of emulsification begins with the addition of bile salts and mechanical...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Harvey, R. A., & Ferrier, D. R. (2008). Cholesterol and steroid metabolism. In R. A. Harvey (Ed.), Lippincott’s illustrated reviews biochemistry (pp. 173–180). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, Division of General MedicineColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Linda C. Baumann
    • 1
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA