Excessive fecal taurine loss predisposes to taurine deficiency in cystic fibrosis

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1988 Mar-Apr;7(2):214-9. doi: 10.1097/00005176-198803000-00010.


Elevation of the ratio of glycine: taurine-conjugated bile acids (G/T ratio) is thought to contribute to fat malabsorption in cystic fibrosis (CF). The cause, extent, and reversibility of taurine deficiency in CF were assessed using balance studies in 6 subjects (ages 8-14 years) who were supplemented with taurine (0.24-2.4 mmol/kg/24 h) for 1 week. Taurine reduced the G/T ratio both in serum and duodenal juice in all children. The mean fecal taurine loss in CF subjects [10.8 mumol/kg/24 h +/- 9.9 (SD), range 0.9-27.9] was much greater than that in controls (less than 0.1 mumol/kg/24 h, n = 4) and approximated the dietary taurine intake (mean 14.6 +/- 4.4 mumol/kg/24 h, n = 12). Absorption of an oral taurine load appeared to be normal in CF. Excessive fecal taurine loss appears to predispose CF children to bile acid taurine deficiency, a deficiency that can be corrected by oral taurine supplements.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Duodenum
  • Feces / analysis*
  • Female
  • Glycine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Secretions / metabolism
  • Male
  • Taurine / metabolism*
  • Taurine / therapeutic use


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Taurine
  • Glycine