The volatile fatty acids from sprue and non-sprue subjects were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, using steam distillation and paper chromatography technics, respectively. The amount of volatile fatty acids per unit weight of feces was practically the same in both groups. The amount passed per day was significantly larger in the sprue than in the non-sprue group.
The fatty acids found in both groups were essentially the same in all the samples analyzed: acetic, propionic, n-butyric, n-valeric, caproic, and an unknown insoluble fatty acid. In only a few samples were caprylic and what could be formic acid also observed.
Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, School of Medicine, School of Tropical Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan 22, Puerto Rico.
General Medical Research Laboratory, Veterans Administration, San Patricio Hospital and School of Medicine, School of Tropical Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan 22, Puerto Rico.