How macronutrients and pancreatic enzyme supplements dose variability affect fat, protein and starch absorption in children with cystic fibrosis

Published:November 24, 2022DOI:



      low evidence on the dose of enzymatic supplements used in pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) is available.


      assessing if fat, protein and starch absorption could be related to the dose of the enzymatic supplement, the intra-patient variability in the dose and macronutrient intake.


      Four-day food records and 3-day faecal samples were prospectively collected in 69 children with cystic fibrosis. Pearson correlations between enzyme dose and macronutrient absorption, and beta regression models were applied to explain the results.


      the supply of protease units per protein intake (PU/g protein) in relation to lipase units per fat intake (LU/g fat) was low and the intra-patient variability in the dose of enzymes was ±1331 LU/g fat. Fat and starch absorption was >90% while for protein it was 81.5%. The coefficient of fat absorption was associated with an interaction between the dose of LU/g fat and its variability among different days. Lipid and protein intake were also determinants of the coefficient of fat absorption.


      the dose of PERT should be re-adjusted to the amount of dietary fat of every meal (constant LU/g fat) to minimize variability and increase fat absorption. Also, the supply of protease should be increased to prevent from protein malabsorption.


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