I've heard somewhere said that :

Stomach cells do not absorb anything larger than single amino acids.

Is that wrong? How do biological toxins (peptides/proteins) from mushroom or bacteria like Botulinum come to our blood and affect our body after we eat them?

Update: In fact, i want to know if we drink milk, is there anyway IGF-1 protein from milk can pass through the intestine and affect our body. Because I see some arguments/debates about the IGF protein in milk can cause acne.


1 Answer 1


Entire proteins can be transported across the epithelial cells of the digestive system.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcytosis

This is common in neonatal infants aiding in immunity passed via proteins in mother's milk. It is much less common as you age. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/smallgut/absorb_aacids.html

The process is termed "transcytosis" if you wish to search for whether this occurs for a particular substance. One such goup of proteins entering the body in this manner are prions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5004172/

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ And viruses can pass through epithelial cells in this manner. $\endgroup$
    – Artem
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 22:37

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