A quantitative perfusion method has been used to study intestinal absorption of two dipeptides—glycyl-glycine and glycyl-l-alanine—in normal subjects. In each case, the constituent amino acids were absorbed faster when presented as dipeptides than as free amino acids, suggesting intact dipeptide transport. During absorption constituent amino acids were measured within the lumen and it is suggested that these represent amino acids which have diffused back to the lumen after absorption as dipeptide.
Portal blood analyses during absorption of a third dipeptide, glycyl-l-lysine, have shown that this dipeptide, known to be transported intact from the intestinal lumen, is hydrolysed to its constitutent amino acids before it reaches portal venous blood.
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