The characteristics of glucose, glycine, L-alanine, and glycyl-L-alanine absorption from the jejunum and ileum have been compared in normal human subjects. A perfusion technique has been used, and correct positioning of the perfusion tube has been confirmed by measuring the differential jejunal and ileal handling of bicarbonate.
Glucose and glycine were absorbed faster from the jejunum than from the ileum of all subjects studied, and L-alanine was absorbed faster from the jejunum than from the ileum in five out of six subjects studied. In contrast, the dipeptide glycyl-L-alanine was absorbed at comparable rates from the jejunum and ileum. Higher concentrations of free amino acids were detected in the luminal contents aspirated during the ileal dipeptide perfusions.
These results emphasize the importance of oligopeptide transport in the absorption of protein digestion products, especially in the human ileum, and the practical implications of these findings are discussed.
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