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J Nutr. 1997 Dec;127(12):2350-6.

Intestinal transit and absorption of soy protein in dogs depend on load and degree of protein hydrolysis.

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Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Burns & Allen Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.


Soy protein, in both intact and hydrolyzed forms, is widely used as the nitrogen source in infant and adult formulas. This protein is also consumed in vast quantities worldwide as soybean-based food products. Digestion is the rate-limiting step in the assimilation of proteins from the gut. As a result, intestinal transit must be slowed when a higher load of protein is available or when this nutrient is delivered in the intact rather than hydrolyzed form. However, little information is available on the effect of load and degree of hydrolysis of soy protein on intestinal transit and protein absorption. To test the hypothesis that inhibition of intestinal transit and protein absorption depend on the load of soy protein and the state of hydrolysis of this nutrient, we compared intestinal transit and protein absorption in dogs equipped with duodenal and midintestinal fistulas during intestinal perfusion with 0, 50, 100, or 200 g/L solutions of intact soy protein versus 0, 100, 200, 300, or 400 g/L solutions of hydrolyzed soy protein. We found that intestinal transit was slowed in a load-dependent fashion by intact (P < 0.001) and hydrolyzed (P < 0.05) soy protein. Soy protein inhibited intestinal transit more potently in the intact than hydrolyzed form (P < 0.05). A greater amount of protein was absorbed by the proximal half of the small intestine when soy protein was delivered in the hydrolyzed than intact form (P < 0.05), and the efficiency of protein absorption was maintained at a high and nearly constant level of 82.6 to 87.4% for intact soy protein and 89.0 to 92.3% for hydrolyzed soy protein. We conclude that in dogs intestinal transit and absorption of soy protein depend on the load and the degree of protein hydrolysis.

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