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July 13, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(2):122-123. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760280034015

The manner in which fats are absorbed from the alimentary canal has long been a controversial subject.1 Although the evidence is clear that neutral fat is hydrolyzed by the lipases of the alimentary tract prior to absorption, there is lack of agreement concerning the nature of the process by which the water-insoluble fatty acids are brought into solution and transported across the intestinal wall. Pflüger believed that the insoluble fatty acids liberated during fat digestion combined with the alkali of the pancreatic juice to form soaps. The latter, by virtue of their solubility in water, could readily diffuse into the epithelium. Recent investigations of the reaction of the intestinal contents have thrown some doubt on the assumption that these materials are generally alkaline. It has, in fact, been demonstrated that an alkaline reaction is seldom, if ever, found in the small intestine. These observations increase the significance of the

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