Certain bile acids inhibit the growth of organisms commonly found in the intestine and, in particular, anaerobic bacteria. As the importance of this effect has not been demonstrated, we investigated changes in intestinal flora in the rat after diversion of bile to the urinary bladder.

Five days after operation there was an increase in numbers of sp. in the stomach, mid-jejunum and caecum and of coliform bacilli in the stomach and mid-jejunum. Lacto-bacilli were increased in the stomach. There was no change in numbers of anaerobic organisms. Similar changes in bacterial flora followed 5 days of pair feeding in control rats. Our results do not suggest a specific antibacterial effect of bile salts in the rat The changes found are probably related to semi-starvation, because the food intake of the rats after operation was about half that of control rats having an unrestricted diet.


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