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November 18, 1974

The Aging Gastrointestinal Tract

Author Affiliations

Wayne, Mich

JAMA. 1974;230(7):960. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240070012002

To the Editor.—  Most of us are concerned with the gastrointestinal tract only when there is evidence of a pathological lesion or some malfunction. No one has ever been concerned about the aging process of the gastrointestinal tract and the concomitant lack of absorption of vital elements in our food.Research work on normals does not apply to all individuals since no one knows the individual capacity of absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.This defective absorption of the gastrointestinal tract was well illustrated in the case of one of our patients who suffered from chilosis, for whom large doses of orally administered riboflavin were prescribed, and for whom this orally given vitamin accomplished nothing. Later, an accidental dose of riboflavin given intramuscularly in a small quantity cleared up this deficiency in a short period of time.This same experience repeated itself in three other persons who suffered from chilosis. Since