The effect of conjugated and unconjugated bile acids on the binding of vitamin B12 to intrinsic factor was investigated. The dihydroxy bile acids (deoxycholic, glycodeoxycholic, taurodeoxycholic, glycochenodeoxycholic, and taurochenodeoxycholic) inhibit the binding of intrinsic factor to vitamin B12 at physiological concentrations. On the other hand, the trihydroxy bile acids (cholic, glycocholic, and taurocholic) are not effective in this respect. The inhibition is dependent both on concentration and time, and its pattern is similar to that previously reported for duodenal juice. On column chromatography, there is a close correlation between the degree in intrinsic factor inhibition and the total acid concentration in the duodenal juice. The binding of vitamin B12 by R protein in saliva is not affected by bile acids. The results show that bile acids at concentrations found in duodenal juice inhibit intrinsic factor vitamin B12 binding. It is suggested that this observation may have physiological significance for vitamin B12 absorption.
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