The gastrointestinal tract actively responds to the presence of nutrients in the lumen, and there is a high level of specificity to these responses. This specificity exists for different nutrient types and anatomical regions, with physiologically appropriate target end-organ responses. This review will journey from outlining the effects of dietary fat on digestive function and feeding behaviour to the evidence for lipid sensory cells, particularly the enteroendocrine system, in the epithelium. It will also outline potential molecular bases for these mechanisms. This will deal exclusively with issues specific to fatty acid sensing and not the emergent acid pH-sensing mechanisms that may also be activated in the presence of free fatty acids.

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