Our understanding of nutrient absorption continues to grow, from the development of unique animal models and from studies in which cutting-edge molecular and cellular biologic approaches have been used to analyze the structure and function of relevant molecules. Studies of the molecular genetics of inherited disorders have also provided many new insights into these processes. A major advance in lipid absorption has been the cloning and characterization of several intestinal acyl CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferases; these may provide new targets for antiobesity drug therapy. Studies of intestinal cholesterol absorption and reverse cholesterol transport have encouraged the development of novel potential treatments for hyperlipidemia. Observations in genetically modified mice and in humans with mutations in glucose transporter 2 suggest the importance of a separate microsomal membrane transport pathway for glucose transport. The study of iron metabolism has advanced greatly with the identification of the hemochromatosis gene and the continued examination of the genetic regulation of iron absorptive pathways. Several human thiamine transporters have been identified, and their specific roles in different tissues are being explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose transport
  • Hemochromatosis
  • MGAT
  • Triglyceride
  • Vitamin A
  • Water soluble vitamins


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