International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 119–128 | Cite as

Biochemical vitamin E deficiency in chronic pancreatitis

  • I. Kalvaria
  • D. Labadarios
  • G. S. Shephard
  • L. Visser
  • I. N. Marks
Research Papers


In order to study the frequency of biochemical vitamin E deficiency in chronic alcohol-induced pancreatitis, we measured plasma vitamin E and total blood lipids in 44 patients with chronic pancreatitis and 83 control subjects (44 normal controls; 39 Crohn's disease controls). Mean plasma vitamin E and mean ratio vitamin E/total blood lipids, a more sensitive indicator of vitamin E status, were significantly lower in chronic pancreatitis when compared with either control group. A low vitamin E/total lipids ratio was found in 75% of patients with pancreatitis. Within the chronic pancreatitis group, mean plasma vitamin E and the ratio vitamin E to total lipids were significantly lower in those with steatorrhoea (23 patients—pancreatic stea-torrhoea subgroup) than in those without (21 patients—pancreatic non-steatorrhoea subgroup). 91% of the pancreatic steatorrhoea subgroup had a low vitamin E/total lipids ratio. However, patients without pancreatic steahorrhoea also had significantly lower levels of plasma vitamin E and the ratio vitamin E/total lipids when compared to controls. We conclude that biochemical vitamin E deficiency is common in chronic alcohol-induced pancreatitis, particularly in patients with steatorrhoea, and that factors other than fat malabsorption may be responsible for vitamin E deficiency in pancreatic non-steatorrhoea.

Key words

Vitamin E chronic pancreatitis alcohol 


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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (Biomedical Division) 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Kalvaria
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Labadarios
    • 3
  • G. S. Shephard
    • 3
  • L. Visser
    • 3
  • I. N. Marks
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Gastrointestinal ClinicGroote Schuur HospitalCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.MRC Metabolic Research Group, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of StellenboschTygenbergSouth Africa

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