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Natascha Stroebinger

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2017
Office of the Provost


Thesis Title
The Effect of Dietary Calcium and Other Nutritionally Relevant Divalent Cations on Fatty Acid-Soap Formation

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The alarming rise in obesity has led to research investigating potential mechanisms to reduce fat absorption. The ability of calcium to form insoluble complexes with free fatty acids (FAs) (= Ca-FA soaps) has been suggested to limit the absorption of FAs from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). To investigate the presence of FA-soaps in the GIT an assay was developed to determine FA-soaps in faeces. In vivo studies were conducted to investigate an effect of increasing dietary calcium on fat digestibility and to determine the location where in the GIT FA-soap formation occurred. High calcium intake led to an increased excretion of FA-soaps, impairing the absorption of fat. FA-soaps appeared to form in the distal small intestine with an association to gastrointestinal pH. Miss Stroebinger's results contribute to the knowledge where FA-soap formation occurs and provide evidence that FA-soap formation can reduce fat absorption and thereby possibly contribute to weight loss.

Dr Sharon Henare
Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan

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