Absorption from the Human Colon

  • S. F. Phillips


In approaching a study of absorption from the human colon, it is important to consider a spectrum of circumstances under which absorption across a membrane can be examined. At one end of the spectrum, a clean membrane can be established in vitro with an Ussing chamber having artificial, saline solutions on both sides of the membrane. At the other extreme, the colon in vivo functions in the presence of extremely heterogenous contents, an important difference to be taken into account in the interpretation and the application of experimental data to the human situation. We also must realize that any differences in gut function under different circumstances may be determined by the properties of the membrane itself or by the manner in which the organ functions in life. A second factor quite apart from membrane function, is the chemical nature of the gut contents, that is, the material in the lumen that will be absorbed. It already has been mentioned that the lumen of the colon contains a complex bacterial eco-system. These circumstances obviously affect the substrate that is available for absorption.


Oleic Acid Bile Acid Transit Time Human Colon Ricinoleic Acid 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. F. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.The Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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