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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Apr 23;56(8):2846-51. doi: 10.1021/jf073470m. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

Inulin affects iron dialyzability from FeSO4 and FeEDTA solutions but does not alter Fe uptake by Caco-2 cells.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


The in vitro effects of inulin on the fluxes of Fe (F(Fe)) and uptake by Caco-2 cells from FeSO4 and FeEDTA were evaluated. Cell ferritin formation was used as a measure of Fe uptake. Mitochondrial (MTT test) and lysosomal activities were monitored as biomarkers of the changes of cellular metabolism. Changes in mRNA expression of Fe transporters, DMT1 and Dcytb, were evaluated. Inulin decreased dialyzability and F(Fe) from FeSO4 solution, suggesting a mineral binding effect, but increased those from FeEDTA. Cultures exposed to FeEDTA solutions exhibited higher ferritin values and MTT conversion percentages. Regardless of Fe source, cell Fe uptake and mRNA expression of Fe transporters were similar with or without inulin, suggesting that inulin did not impair Fe uptake. These observations might indicate a faster cellular Fe internalization from FeEDTA solutions. From a physiological perspective, the decreased F(Fe) from FeSO4 might be reflected in a decreased Fe uptake.

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