The vitamin E status and ease of repletion in groups of children with coeliac disease, intestinal lymphangiectasia, and abetalipoproteinaemia was studied and compared with earlier studies in cystic fibrosis and obstructive jaundice. Each group represents an experimental model in which one of the transport steps involved in the absorption of vitamin E is defective or absent and thus the relative importance of these factors could be determined. Chylomicron formation and an adequate intraluminal concentration of bile salts were found to be the most important factors for the efficient absorption of the vitamin. The results in the five groups of patients have therapeutic implications if it is considered desirable to correct vitamin E deficiency states.
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