Effect of high percentage medium-chain triglyceride diet on mucosal adaptation following massive bowel resection in rats

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. Nov-Dec 1984;8(6):685-9. doi: 10.1177/0148607184008006685.


Patients undergoing massive small bowel resection for a variety of conditions develop severe nutrient malabsorption which gradually improves through mucosal hyperplasia in the remaining small intestine. Following massive small bowel resection, patients are generally fed elemental diets, often containing high concentrations of medium-chain triglycerides. We evaluated the effect of high percentage medium-chain triglyceride feeding on mucosal adaptation following massive small bowel resection in rats. Twenty 150-g Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to 60% jejunoileal resection. Another 20 animals received sham operations. One-half of each group were fed a diet containing 83% of the fat as medium-chain triglycerides, the remainder were fed a diet containing 40% medium-chain triglycerides. Animals were pair-fed for 2 wk and subsequently killed. The remaining bowel was removed and unidirectional glucose and leucine uptake were measured using isolated sacs. Mucosal wet weight, protein, and sucrase content were determined. Animals fed medium-chain triglycerides demonstrated decreased mucosal weight in the proximal bowel, decreased mucosal sucrase activity in the proximal bowel, and decreased mucosal leucine uptake in the distal bowel. While medium-chain triglycerides offer an advantage to patients with short bowel syndrome because they are easily absorbed, they may not stimulate the same degree of mucosal adaptation following resection as long-chain triglyceride feedings.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Food, Formulated*
  • Hyperplasia
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Intestine, Small / surgery*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sucrase / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Triglycerides
  • Sucrase