Serum vitamin E levels and red cell haemolysis were measured in 17 children with biliary obstruction after oral and intramuscular loading tests, and during long-term oral administration of differing doses of a fat-soluble and water-miscible preparation of alpha-tocopheryl acetate. The results suggested a severe defect in the intestinal absorption of both preparations. In three of the children who were studied during periods of improving biliary obstruction, absorption was shown to have improved. Bile plays a major role in the absorption of vitamin E from the intestinal tract and the exact mechanism of its action requires further elucidation.
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