Duodenal bile from 27 diabetes was compared with samples from healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and body mass index. Cholesterol saturation and the molar percentages of bile acids, phospholipids, and cholesterol were not significantly different. Most bile samples were supersaturated in both groups. The maturity onset diabetics who were almost all obese had more saturated bile than the slimmer juvenile onset patients. Body fatness and plasma triglyceride levels were both positively correlated with the cholesterol saturation of bile in the controls but not in the diabetics. Bile was less concentrated in female diabetics than in controls, which is consistent with impaired gallbladder emptying. It is possible that the increased prevalence of gallstones in diabetics is due not so much to diabetes itself as to the frequently associated obesity.
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