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Quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance was used to measure the freezing behaviour of lamellar phases of phosphatidylcholine in water and in solutions of sorbitol. Both solute and solvent were deuterated in different series of experiments to allow the calculation of the partitioning of solute and solvent molecules between the lamellar phase and unfrozen bulk solution. Sorbitol, as well as water, was found to redistribute between these phases as a function of temperature. The results show a strong, repulsive, interlamellar force which decreases approximately exponentially with hydration. Compared to measurements on lipid/water systems and solute/water systems, the hydration of the lamellar phase containing solutes is slightly less than the sum of the hydrations of lipid and solute at any given chemical potential of water. For a lamellar phase with a given quantity of lipid, interlamellar sorbitol and water, reduction of chemical potential of water is greater than that due to lipid acting alone plus that due to solute acting alone.