Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Degradation of cellulose within the gastrointestinal tract in man.
  1. J Kelleher,
  2. M P Walters,
  3. T R Srinivasan,
  4. G Hart,
  5. J M Findlay,
  6. M S Losowsky


    14C-labelled cellulose was administered orally to 10 subjects without gastrointestinal disease and its absorption measured by faecal 14C excretion and 14CO2 in expired air. A mean of 57.2% of oral cellulose was excreted in the faeces and up to 14% (mean 7.5 +/- 4.4 1SD) of faecal radioactivity was water soluble. Whole gut transit time did not correlate with the quantity of 14C-cellulose excreted in the faeces. A significant quantity of 14CO2 appeared in the expired air as early as 30 minutes after administration of the labelled cellulose. The cumulative excretion of 14CO2 varied from 7.6-32.2% of the administered radioactivity but did not correlate with faecal 14C excretion. The present data show that a significant quantity of oral cellulose is metabolised within the human gastrointestinal tract and appears in the expired air as 14CO2.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.