The effect of a low fat containing elemental diet (Vivonex) on faecal bile acid excretion was studied in six patients with cholerheic diarrhoea, two normal controls, and four patients with non-cholerheic diarrhoea. The total faecal bile acid excretion for the patients with bile acid-induced diarrhoea was significantly reduced fron 6-37+/- 1-64 mmol/24 h (mean +/- SEM) to 2-70 +/- 1-12 mmol/24 h during Vivonex treatment (p less than 0-05). A marked improvement in the diarrhoea of these patients occurred; the number of stools per day decreased and there was less urgency associated with the diarrhoea. No significant reduction in faecal bile acid excretion was observed for the control and non-cholerheic diarrhoea groups. An elemental diet of this type may be of value in the management of patients with bile acid-induced diarrhoea unresponsive to other forms of therapy, and may be of particular value in patients with Crohn's disease.
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