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J Surg Res. 1990 Apr;48(4):297-303.

Glutamine prevents pancreatic atrophy and fatty liver during elemental feeding.

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Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


Rats fed an elemental, enteral diet (STD) developed pancreatic atrophy and hepatic steatosis following 60% jejunoileal intestinal resection. An isonitrogenous, isocaloric 2 g/100 ml glutamine-supplemented diet (GLN) significantly attenuated the development of pancreatic atrophy and hepatic steatosis associated with elemental feeding. Pancreatic weight, DNA, and protein were 27, 22, and 40% increased, respectively, in GLN animals. The pancreata of all animals appeared normal by light and electron microscopic examination. GLN animals had 12% less total liver wet weight, 3% less hepatic water content, and 47% less hepatic fat relative to STD rats. Histologic examination of the liver revealed extensive centrilobular fatty vacuolization in STD animals whereas GLN rats had normal looking hepatic parenchyma. Glutamine should be viewed as an important nutrient in elemental diets with trophic effects on the pancreas and protective effects against the development of hepatic steatosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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