Small Intestine

Transit time is not changed in the elderly; however, their slower gut motility may cause stasis, with

Age (years)

Figure 3 Rate of bone loss: 1, bone mass change in women with a high initial amount of bone and an average loss after menopause; 2, bone mass change in women with a low initial amount of bone and an average loss after menopause; 3 and 4, bone mass change in women with high losses after menopause; 5 and 6, bone mass change in women with an early menopause or after surgical removal of ovaries. First fractures occur approximately 10years after menopause.

Age (years)

Figure 3 Rate of bone loss: 1, bone mass change in women with a high initial amount of bone and an average loss after menopause; 2, bone mass change in women with a low initial amount of bone and an average loss after menopause; 3 and 4, bone mass change in women with high losses after menopause; 5 and 6, bone mass change in women with an early menopause or after surgical removal of ovaries. First fractures occur approximately 10years after menopause.

Bouillon concentration (relative increase)

Figure 4 Mean responses of perceived intensity of bouillon flavor judged by a group of 23 elderly subjects (circles) and 32 young subjects (squares). (From Graaf C, Polet P and van Staveren WA (1994) Sensory and pleasantness of food flavors in elderly subjects. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 94: 93-99.)

Bouillon concentration (relative increase)

Figure 4 Mean responses of perceived intensity of bouillon flavor judged by a group of 23 elderly subjects (circles) and 32 young subjects (squares). (From Graaf C, Polet P and van Staveren WA (1994) Sensory and pleasantness of food flavors in elderly subjects. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 94: 93-99.)

bacterial overgrowth and malabsorption. The latter also may be caused by a reduced mucosal surface due to poor oxygenation of the tips of the villi as a result of a decreased blood supply from a low cardiac output. Decreased absorption is most frequently observed for electrolytes, lactose, vitamin D, and calcium. Absorption of digested food takes place by diffusion and by active transport across membranes. Adequate fluid must be available for absorption to proceed. The dehydrated state of the aged can reduce the capacity of the gut to absorb digested food.

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