1. The excretion of aliphatic amines, methylamine, dimethylamine and trimethylamine in the urine and faeces of rats fed on a control diet and diets supplemented with creatinine, lecithin or choline were measured over a 14 d feeding period.
2. The rats were then killed and concentrations of amines in small and large intestinal contents measured.
3. Adding creatinine to the diet resulted in a significant increase of methylamine excretion in the faeces and urine. The amount of methylamine found in all parts of the intestine increased, especially in the caecum.
4. Adding lecithin to the diet resulted in an increase in the methylamine excretion only, and no change in the concentrations of amines found in the intestine, except for trimethylamine which was significantly increased in the caecum and colon.
5. Adding choline to the diet resulted in a significant increase in excretion of trimethylamine and, to a lesser extent, methylamine. The levels of amines found in the gut increased, dimethylamine being increased in the small bowel, and methylamine and trimethylamine in the caecum.