Effect of orlistat on fat absorption in rats: A comparison of normal rats and rats with diverted bile and pancreatic juice

Trine Porsgaard, Ellen Marie Straarup, Huiling Mu, Carl-Erik Høy

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Orlistat is a specific inhibitor of pancreatic and gastric lipases leading to decreased absorption of fat. In the present study, we measured the effect of orlistat on lymphatic fat transport in rats following intake of oils very different in FA composition and TAG structure, and compared this with the transport in normal rats and rats with fat malabsorption. Rats were subjected to cannulation of the main mesenteric lymph duct, and a feeding catheter was inserted into the stomach. In addition, malabsorbing rats were cannulated in the common bile and pancreatic duct. Emulsified safflower, fish, and randomized oils were administered, and lymph was collected for 24 h and analyzed for FA composition. Administration of 25 mg orlistat together with the dietary oils resulted in very small changes from baseline lymphatic transport, indicating that inhibition of the fat absorption was almost complete and furthermore that the source of fat had no influence on the inhibitory effect of orlistat. Orlistat did not interfere with the absorption of the hydrolysis products, since high absorption of sn-2 MAG and FFA (oleic acid) mixed with orlistat was observed. The baseline lymphatic transport in the orlistat group was higher than in the malabsorbing group, but this was the result of generally lower transport of endogenous FA in the malabsorbing group, presumably caused by the absence of bile FA. The transport of FA in normal rats was several-fold higher than the transport after orlistat addition and in malabsorbing rats. Thus, this study showed that orlistat inhibited fat hydrolysis, and thereby lymphatic absorption, almost completely independently of the fat administered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)1039-1043
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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