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Br J Nutr. 1976 Jan;35(1):77-87.

Micellar solubilization of fatty acids in aqueous media containing bile salts and phospholipids.


1. The solubility of fatty acids in aqueous media containing bile salts alone and in admixture with either lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) or phosphatidylethanolamine was determined. 2. Over the pH range 2-0-7-4, the order of fatty acid solubility in aqueous solutions containing bile salts was linoleic greater than oleic greater than elaidic greater than palmitic greater than stearic. The solubility of each fatty acid increased as the pH of the miceus solutions of bile salts greatly increased the solubility of palmitic acid and stearic acid. 4. In the presence of bile salts and lecithin, the solubility of oleic acid and elaidic acid decreased with increasing pH of the micellar solution, indicating a competitive effect between the fatty acid anions and lecithin. The solubility of linoleic acid increased linearly with lecithin concentration. 5. Phosphatidylethanolamine as an additive to bile salts increased the solubility of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in the pH range 2-3-7-4. The effectiveness of phosphatidylethanolamine as an amphiphile was similar to that of lecithin, although at pH 3.0 fatty acid solubility was greater in the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine. 6. The significance of these findings is discussed in relation to the intestinal absorption of fatty acids in sheep.

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