On a 'normal' diet increased faecal bile acid excretion was found in 14 of 16 children with cystic fibrosis who had steatorrhoea, but excretion was normal in 2 such children without steatorrhoea. The 16 children with steatorrhoea took 3 regimens of diet and therapy: a 'normal' diet with pancreatic enzyme supplements, a diet of reduced long-chain triglycerides with added medium-chain triglycerides, and the same diet with added pancreatic enzyme supplements. On each of these three regimens steatorrhoea and faecal bile acid loss were significantly less than on no treatment, with the lowest excretions occurring on the diet of reduced long-chain triglycerides with added medium-chain triglycerides and pancreatic enzyme supplements. Although a reduction in steatorrhoea was nearly always accompanied by a decrease in bile acid excretion, the initial bile acid loss was very variable and could not be predicted for any given degree of steatorrhoea. This suggests that at least one other factor, possibly liver disease or bile acid pool size, influences bile acid loss in the faeces.
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