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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of starch malabsorption on fecal bile acids and neutral sterols in humans: possible implications for colonic carcinogenesis.

Epidemiological and experimental studies indicate a strong association between an elevated colon cancer risk and increased fecal excretion of secondary bile acids, neutral sterols, and prolonged gastrointestinal transit time. Starch malabsorption, on the other hand, has been reported to be a possible protective factor in colon carcinogenesis. To study the impact of starch malabsorption on these parameters, 12 healthy volunteers consumed a diet rich in starch for two 4-week periods. During a double-blind crossover trial they received the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose (BAY g 5421) in one of the study periods and placebo in the other. During acarbose treatment stool wet weight increased by 68%, stool dry weight by 57%, and gastrointestinal mean transit time by 30%. Fecal concentrations (mg/g dry weight) of the neutral sterols coprostanol, coprostanone, campesterol, 4-cholesten-3-one, and beta-sitosterol decreased by 36.8, 48.7, 42.1, 34.6, and 39.4%, respectively, under acarbose. Concentrations of the major secondary bile acids, deoxycholic and lithocholic acid, decreased by 59.9 and 52.2%, respectively. In spite of an increased stool weight, also daily excretion (mg/day) of these two bile acids was lower under acarbose (47.9 and 36.6%, respectively) compared to placebo, whereas excretion of the main primary bile acid, cholic acid, rose from 22.58 mg/day to 379.80 mg/day during the acarbose period. The changes in fecal bile acid and neutral sterol excretion found during acarbose treatment may explain a protective effect of starch malabsorption on colon cancer development.[1]


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