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Br J Nutr. 1992 Jan;67(1):77-89.

Gastrointestinal morphology and absorption of monosaccharides in fowls conditioned to different types and levels of dietary fibre.

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AFRC Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research, Roslin, Midlothian.


To test a possible influence of dietary fibre on intestinal sugar uptake, rates of absorption of 10 mM-D-[U-14C] glucose and 10 mM-D-[U-14C] xylose were measured in either jejunum or (distal) caecum, by in vivo lumen perfusion, in immature female fowls preconditioned to a standard diet containing (g/kg) either 0, 100, 200 or 400 added dried grass, 200 powdered cellulose, or 200 grass with a polysaccharidase enzyme supplement. When birds were killed after perfusion, dimensions of (unperfused) parts of their alimentary tracts were determined, and recoveries of 14C radioactivity in some body tissues were compared with measured activities absorbed. On average, absorption of glucose was 1.9 and 1.2 times faster than xylose in jejunum and caecum respectively, although these differences varied with dietary treatment and order of perfusion. Increasing grass in the diet caused significant changes in xylose absorption rate in both jejunum and caecum, but only when it was perfused before glucose. With any one sugar and intestinal segment, mean rates of absorption were correlated positively with corresponding mean rates of fluid loss from perfusate. Although their influence on sugar absorption was not well defined, the dietary fibre treatments had more pronounced effects on gross dimensions of parts of the alimentary tract and, hence, potentially on total rates of absorption. Compared with the basal diet, addition of 100, 200 or 400 g grass/kg or 200 g cellulose/kg caused significant increases in small intestine length while 200 g grass/kg with supplementary enzyme did not, and combined caecal length increased with the 400 g grass/kg and the supplementary enzyme treatments. Absorbed 14C activity was recovered in plasma after jejunal perfusions but not caecal ones, whereas it was recovered in liver and in the flushed perfused segment after both types of perfusion. Since there was overlap in absorption rates between jejunum and caecum, this result suggests that the liver may be able to distinguish and treat differently compounds absorbed in the two regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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