Bile acid malabsorption (BAM) is characterized by an excessive spill-over of bile acids to the colon leading to bile acid-induced diarrhea; the condition is usually treated with bile acid sequestrants. Bile acids have been demonstrated to modulate the secretion of the incretin hormone glucagon‐like peptide 1 (GLP‐1) and the aim of this study was to characterize postprandial glucose metabolism and incretin hormone responses in patients with BAM. Twelve patients with BAM (6 women; mean age 39.1 (SD 13.2); mean BMI 28.4 kg/m2 (SD 1.2); HbA1c 31.4 (SD 3.7)) and 12 healthy gender, age, BMI and HbA1c-matched controls (6 women; mean age 39.3 (SD 15.6); mean BMI 29,1 kg/m2 (SD 1.1); HbA1c 31.0 (SD 2.8)) were subjected to two 4-hour standardized liquid meal tests with double-blinded single-dose administration of the bile acid sequestrant colesevelam (3.75 g) and placebo, respectively, performed on separate days, and in randomized order. Fasting and postprandial plasma GIP and GLP-1 concentrations were comparable among patients with BAM and control subjects and unaffected by colesevelam administration. Peak plasma glucose concentrations were higher in BAM patients vs. control subjects, but area under curve for plasma glucose did not differ between the two groups. Patients with BAM exhibited significantly higher postprandial serum C-peptide concentrations and hyperglucagonemia compared to controls. Single-dose colesevelam had no effect on postprandial glucose or glucagon excursions in any of the groups but decreased the postprandial C-peptide response in BAM patients. Patients with BAM are characterized by elevated serum C-peptide concentrations and hyperglucagonemia whereas postprandial glucose tolerance and GLP-1 and GIP responses are similar to healthy controls.


M.L. Kårhus: None. D.P. Sonne: None. M.L. Thomasen: None. J.J. Holst: Advisory Panel; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. T. Vilsbøll: None. A. Brønden: Other Relationship; Self; AstraZeneca. F.K. Knop: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Mundipharma, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi. Consultant; Self; Amgen Inc., Carmot Therapeutics, Novo Nordisk A/S. Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk A/S. Speaker's Bureau; Self; AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Mundipharma, Norgine, Novo Nordisk A/S.


Novo Nordisk Foundation

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at