Although crustacean tissue cholesterol content is high, Crustacea, like other arthropods; are incapable of cholesterol synthesis, and presumably are dependent for maintaining tissue cholesterol stores on the intestinal absorption of ingested sterol. A detergent, N-(N-dodecanoylsarcosyl)taurine, representative of a set of detergents synthesized by the crustacean hepatopancreas and secreted into the intestine, is capable of efficient cholesterol solubilization, and thus of promoting sterol absorption.