Frontiers in Bioscience: A Journal and Virtual Library
The incidence of intestinal nutrient malabsorption increases with age. Therefore, an important question is whether there are age-related changes in intestinal nutrient absorption which may contribute to a decline in absorptive capacity. Sugar and amino acid transport per mg intestine generally decreases with age. The proximate mechanism underlying this age-related decrease in transport activity is a decrease in number of transporters per mg.
Six patients with hyperphagia (ingestion of 5-11 000 Kcals/day) associated with severe malabsorption and steatorrhoea are described. The cause of the malabsorption was coeliac disease in three patients, Crohn's disease with ileal resection in two, and carcinoma of the pancreas in one patient. There was no evidence of neurological or endocrine disease (apart from mild diabetes mellitus in the patient with carcinoma of the pancreas) but three patients suffered from severe depression.