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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 May;77(3):158-65.

The use of solubility, dialyzability, and Caco-2 cell methods to predict iron bioavailability.

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  • 1University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK. s.fairweather-tait@uea.ac.uk


An update on in vitro methods employed to assess iron bioavailability is presented. Solubility and dialyzability are not useful predictors of iron absorption, whereas Caco-2 cell models provide useful comparisons on the availability of iron from different sources. Strengths and weaknesses of in vitro approaches are briefly described, including the need to characterize Caco-2 cells in order to interpret results correctly. Further developments are required to refine Caco-2 model systems, including optimization and standardization of methods.

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