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Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Feb;39(2):338-42.

The contribution of the large intestine to energy supplies in man.


Herbivores obtain a considerable proportion of energy requirements from carbohydrate by the chain of anaerobic carbohydrate fermentation producing short-chain fatty acids that are absorbed then metabolized. The evidence for this sequence occurring in the large intestine of man is reviewed and estimated to produce 5 to 10% of human energy requirements. Further small amounts of energy may come from large intestinal absorption of fat and the bacterial breakdown products of protein.

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