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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 1999 Oct;1(5):404-9.

The ileal brake: a fifteen-year progress report.

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  • 1Center for Diabetes Research, University of Southern California, USA.


The "ileal brake" is the primary inhibitory feedback mechanism to control transit of a meal through the gastrointestinal tract in order to optimize nutrient digestion and absorption. Neurohormonal factors mediating this response continue to be identified. Recently, additional brakes that fine-tune transit have been described. When gut traffic control is disrupted, pathologic states characterized by malabsorption and impaired drug bioavailability manifest as diarrhea and malnutrition. An understanding of the importance of these nutrient-triggered brakes provides essential clues to future treatments of chronic diarrhea, malnutrition, and drug malabsorption.

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