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Am J Physiol. 1995 Apr;268(4 Pt 1):G568-77.

Intestinal digestion, absorption, and transport of structured triglycerides and cholesterol in rats.

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Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130, USA.


We compared the intestinal absorption of trilinolein (1,2,3-tri-[1-14C]linoleyl-sn-glycerol) with two different structured triglycerides containing one linoleic acid (C18:2) and two octanoic acids (C8:0), 1,3-dioctanoyl-2-[1-14C]linoleyl-sn-glycerol (2-linoleate) and 1,2-di[1-14C]octanoyl-3-linoleyl-sn-glycerol (1,2-octanoate), respectively. Lymphatic radioactive lipid output of 2-linoleate resembled that of trilinolein rats but remained significantly lower during the lipid infusion. Radioactive lipid was recovered along the entire small intestinal lumen, with a significantly higher amount of [14C]lipid recovered in the lower small intestine and cecum in the 2-linoleate group. Delayed uptake of radioactive 2-linoleate was not due to poor digestion. In contrast, 1,2-octanoate was efficiently digested, and both the free fatty acid (FFA) and the monoacylglycerol (MG) containing octanoate were rapidly absorbed. Irrespective of its position on the triglyceride molecule, 14C-labeled octanoate was poorly transported into lymph. In addition, intestinal luminal and mucosal recovery of [14C]octanoate was significantly lower in the 1,2-octanoate group compared with [14C]linoleate recovery in the 2-linoleate or trilinolein groups. Total recovery of infused radioactive lipid was significantly less in the 1,2-octanoate group than in the 2-linoleate or trilinolein groups. Thus radioactive octanoate in the form of FFA or 2-MG was rapidly absorbed and transported via the portal vein. The infusion of either 2-linoleate or 1,2-octanoate did not affect the absorption and lymphatic transport of cholesterol compared with trilinolein. In summary, the type of the fatty acid on the structured triglyceride molecule affects its digestion, absorption, and lymphatic transport. Structured triglycerides containing octanoic acid in the 1- and 3-positions and linoleic acid in the 2-position may not be advantageous to use as a sole source of dietary lipid, but should be supplemented with long-chain triglycerides.

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