Intestinal failure (IF) refers to the condition in which certain causes lead to derangements in nutrient absorption capacity. Gut adaptation occurs in response to IF and it is both morphologic and physiologic in nature and can be mediated by growth factors and nutrients. Our paper reviews certain trophic growth factors that have important interactions relevant for intestinal growth, function and adaptation. Data Source: The literature was reviewed (data from both animal and human studies) and certain trophic factors that modulate intestinal adaptation are summarized. The factors reviewed are: epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor I and II, transforming growth factor α and β, neurotensin, interleukin-11, glucagon-like peptide-2, keratinocyte growth factor, human growth hormone, short-chain fatty acids, and glutamine. Conclusions: Growth factors augment intestinal proliferation, diminish programmed apoptosis, and modulate the adaptive process. They also have the potential to improve nutrient absorption in some bowel disease. The enhancement of gut adaptation may allow patients to transition of parenteral/enteral to normal nutrition, in a shorter period of time, which reduce the rate of adverse effects caused by artificial nutrition and improve quality of life.

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