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Q J Exp Physiol. 1984 Jul;69(3):439-52.

The effect of variation in phosphorus intake on net intestinal phosphorus absorption, salivary phosphorus secretion and pathway of excretion in sheep fed roughage diets.


Mature sheep fitted with rumen and duodenal cannulae and fed either pelleted hay or grass diets were given supplements of Na2HPO4 by continuous infusion into the rumen and the effects on salivary phosphorus secretion, intestinal phosphorus absorption and pathway of excretion were studied. Little phosphorus was excreted in the urine in control periods and little increase was seen in response to phosphorus supplementation, most of the extra phosphorus given being recovered in the faeces. Infusion of phosphorus into the rumen led to an increase in the flow of phosphorus to the intestine, an increase in absorption, a rise in plasma phosphate level and an increase in salivary phosphorus secretion while withdrawal of supplementary phosphorus was seen to have the opposite effects. In separate studies short sections of the upper small intestine temporarily isolated from the normal flow of digesta were perfused with solutions containing NaH2PO4 (5-50 mmol.l-1). Phosphorus absorption increased with increasing concentration though the relationship was curvilinear such that absorptive efficiency fell from around 0.7 at 5 mmol.l-1 to around 0.35 at a concentration of 50 mmol.l-1. The significance of these results in relation to the control of phosphorus balance in ruminants is discussed.

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