Obese subjects are prone to supersaturated bile, which is maintained or increased during weight loss. In this report, two related studies were carried out on obese subjects to investigate effects of bile acid feeding on biliary lipid metabolism before and during weight reduction. In one study, chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), 750 mg/day, was given to 12 obese subjects during weight maintenance (1st mo) and during weight reduction (2nd mo). In the second study, effects of two bile acid preparations, CDCA and Bilron (containing mostly cholic acid and deoxycholic acid), randomly administered, were compared in another 12 obese subjects undergoing weight reduction. The results show that obese subjects had large pools of bile acids during weight maintenance which decreased on caloric restriction (1,000 kcal/day). CDCA increased pool size only modestly during weight maintenance, from 3,536 ± 1,267 (SD) mg to 4,735 ± 1,434 mg. Both CDCA and Bilron markedly reexpanded the contracted pool of bile acids in obese subjects on weight reduction. However, significantly reduced saturation of bile occurred only in those on CDCA and weight reductions, whereas supersaturation was unaltered when weight was maintained constant in these patients, or when Bilron was given. No significant side effects were noted during bile acid feeding for any of the subjects. Thus, CDCA given to obese subjects on weight reduction will reduce bile saturation and could protect against gallstones.
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