Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) results in the maldigestion and malabsorption of nutrients. The digestive processes in humans and other monogastric species like rat and pig are characterized by a predominantly enzymatic digestion within the small intestine and microbial fermentation located in the hindgut. For protein, it is doctrine that only prececally absorbed amino acids can be transferred to the amino acid pool of the host, while postileal absorption of nitrogen‐containing compounds occurs mainly in the form of ammonia, being a burden rather than a benefit for the organism. The pig is an established animal model for humans to study digestive processes. As digestion is markedly impaired in case of EPI the use of an appropriate animal model to study the effects of this disease and to optimize treatment and dietetic measures is of special interest. By using an animal model of experimentally‐induced EPI allowing differentiating between digestive processes in the small as well as in the large intestine by use of ileo‐cecal fistulated animals, marked effects of EPI on prececal digestion of starch and protein could be shown. The data indicatethat estimation of digestibility of nutrients over the entire digestive tract results in a distinct overestimation of enzymatic digestion of starch and protein. Therefore, this model clearly shows that protein and starch digestion are significantly reduced in case of EPI although this cannot be detected on a fecal level. As postileal fermentation of starch is associated not only with energy losses but also with intensive gas production, this is of special interest to minimize meteorism and improve wellbeing of patients.
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