Effect of taurine supplements on fat absorption in cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Res. 1985 Jun;19(6):578-82. doi: 10.1203/00006450-198506000-00015.


Patients with cystic fibrosis have an increased proportion of glycine conjugated bile acids with diminished tauroconjugates which could contribute to fat malabsorption. Twenty-two CF children with documented steatorrhea were supplemented with taurine capsules (30 mg/kg/day) and placebo during separate 6-month treatment periods. Alteration of the glycine/taurine conjugation pattern was verified in two patients who showed a predominance of tauroconjugates as a result of taurine supplementation. On taurine, steatorrhea was reduced (p less than 0.05) by 17.6 +/- 9.7% in 19 patients who completed the study as was the excretion of long-chain saturated fatty acids. There was no change in linoleic acid (C 18:2) excretion. In the 10 patients with a more severe degree of steatorrhea the decrease in fat loss approached 20% and a close relationship was found (r = 0.84, p less than 0.01) between the extent of the fatty acid loss on placebo and the decrease of this loss on taurine. A linear relationship was found between the percentage decrease of individual fatty acids and their log solubility in water. No change was found in the daily excretion of bile acids, neutral sterols, and nitrogen. Fasting plasma fatty acids, cholesterol, and triglycerides were also unchanged. Monitoring of growth over the two 6-month periods revealed a marginal (p less than 0.1) increase of weight velocity expressed as a percentage expected for age (83.4 +/- 11.3----117.1 +/- 16.5). The increase in height velocity in response to taurine showed a more modest trend (95.3 +/- 7.8----110.7 +/- 10.6).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Feces / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Sterols / metabolism
  • Taurine / pharmacology
  • Taurine / therapeutic use*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Sterols
  • Taurine