Intestinal Absorption of Medium Chain Fatty Acids: In Vivo Studies in Pigs Devoid of Exocrine Pancreatic Secretion

Br J Nutr. 1994 Oct;72(4):545-53. doi: 10.1079/bjn19940058.


In order to study the influence of pancreatic enzyme secretion on the intestinal absorption of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), three growing pigs (mean body-weight 61 kg) with ligated and severed pancreatic ducts were fitted with a permanent fistula in the duodenum and with two catheters in the portal vein and carotid artery respectively. An electromagnetic flow probe was also set up around the portal vein. A mixture of octanoic and decanoic acids, esterified as medium-chain triacylglycerols, together with maltose dextrine and nitrogenous fraction was continuously infused for 1 h into the duodenum. Samples of blood were withdrawn from the two vessels at regular intervals of time for 8 h and further analysed for their non-esterified octanoic and decanoic acid contents. The concentrations of non-esterified octanoic and decanoic acid in the portal blood increased slowly after the beginning of each infusion, reaching about 10 times higher values than the basal level. Only 26% of octanoic acid infused in the duodenum and 27% of decanoic acid were recovered in the portal flow throughout each experiment. The possible mechanisms underlying the appearance of MCFA in the portal blood in the absence of pancreatic enzyme secretions and the importance of duodenal absorption of MCT in such physiological conditions have been discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caprylates / blood
  • Decanoic Acids / blood
  • Duodenum / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*
  • Male
  • Orchiectomy
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Portal Vein
  • Swine / metabolism*


  • Caprylates
  • Decanoic Acids
  • Fatty Acids