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Perfusion studies of the normal human jejunum were performed to test whether dihydroxy bile acids and hydroxy fatty acids inhibit the absorption of oleic acid, since previous reports documented their inhibitory effects on the absorption of several other organic solutes. 3 mM deoxycholate and 7 mM glycodeoxycholate inhibited the absorption of 3 mM oleic acid in isotonic micellar solutions while inducing net fluid secretion. Similarly, fractional absorption of oleic acid decreased in the presence of hydroxy fatty acids. However, only the changes induced by 2 mM ricinoleic acid could be distinguished from changes induced by an increase in total fatty acid concentration. Under all experimental conditions, close linear relationships existed between net water movement and fractional absorption of glucose, xylose, and fatty acids, as well as between the absorption rates of these solutes. In contrast, net fluid secretion induced by hypertonic D-mannitol (450 mosmol/liter) had no effect on solute absorption. Our data and observations in the literature do not allow formulation of a hypothesis which would adequately define all effects of dihydroxy bile acids and fatty acids on intestinal transport processes. The observations help explain the malabsorption of fat and other nutrients in patients with the blind loop syndrome.