Antisecretory factor counteracts secretory diarrhoea of endocrine origin

Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;22(6):549-52. doi: 10.1016/s0261-5614(03)00057-8.


Background: Dietary induction of antisecretory factor (AF) can reduce diarrhoea in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Patients with neuroendocrine tumours may suffer from diarrhoea with a prominent secretory component. We studied if AF-therapy could affect this type of diarrhoea.

Methods: Six patients with the midgut carcinoid syndrome and two with metastasizing medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) participated. Effects of intake of AF, in the form of AF-rich egg powder (AF-egg), and induction of endogenous AF-activity by intake of specially processed cereals (SPCs) were studied. In an initial open part of the study all patients received AF-egg for 4 weeks, followed by a double-blind crossover period with SPC and control cereals (CCs) for 6 weeks each. Daily number of bowel movements at the end of each treatment period was registered.

Results: Treatment with AF-egg resulted in a decrease of bowel movements in seven patients (P<0.01). Registrations of bowel movements from both SPC and CC diet periods were obtained from five patients. The daily number of bowel movements was lower during the SPC-period compared to the period with CC (P<0.05). All patients had low levels of AF-activity in serum at baseline. During treatment with AF-egg, the mean level increased slightly. AF-activity was higher (P<0.05) after SPC compared to the CC diet.

Conclusions: In a group of patients with endocrine diarrhoea, AF-activity could be induced, and AF-therapy reduced the number of bowel movements.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antidiarrheals / pharmacology*
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diarrhea / diet therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Edible Grain
  • Egg Yolk
  • Endocrine Glands / metabolism
  • Endocrine Glands / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Foods, Specialized
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / pathology
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropeptides / administration & dosage
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / physiopathology*


  • Antidiarrheals
  • Neuropeptides
  • antisecretory factor