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January 2022

Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Oct; 40(4 Suppl): 937-41.

Diet, nutrition intake, and metabolism in populations at high and low risk for colon cancer. Metabolism of bile acids.

Turjman N, Goodman GT, Jaeger B, Nair PP.

High levels of fecal bile acids have been associated with populations at high risk for developing colon cancer. In this study, 168 subjects were drawn from populations that show low and high mortality from colon cancer [pure vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and nonvegetarians Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) and demographically comparable group from the general population]. Lyophilized aliquots of 3-day stool samples were examined for levels of primary (cholic and chenodeoxycholic acids) and secondary (deoxycholic and lithocholic acids) bile acids. Total bile acids (mg/g lyophilized stools) were statistically different among dietary groups: SDA pure vegetarians 2.16 +/- 0.32, SDA lacto-ovo vegetarians 3.66 +/- 0.41, SDA nonvegetarians 4.39 +/- 0.44, general population nonvegetarians 6.04 +/- 0.75; but were similar when stool weights, body weights, and fat intake were taken into account. The most striking difference was evident in the ratio of secondary to primary bile acids: when compared to SDA pure vegetarians, both SDA lacto-ovo vegetarians and SDA nonvegetarians had twice the ratio while values for general population nonvegetarians were five to six times. The data indicate that these differences in excretion patterns among dietary groups reveal distinctly characteristic metabolic features associated with diet and lifestyle.

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