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Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Sep;76(3):577-81.

Iron bis-glycine chelate competes for the nonheme-iron absorption pathway.

Author information

1
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, the University of Chile, Santiago. fpizzaro@uec.inta.uchile.cl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The enterocytic absorption pathway of the food fortificant iron bis-glycine chelate has been the subject of controversy because it is not clear whether that substance uses the classic nonheme-iron absorption pathway or a pathway similar to that of heme absorption.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to study the absorption pathway of iron bis-glycine chelate in human subjects.

DESIGN:

Eighty-five healthy adult women were selected to participate in 1 of 6 iron-absorption studies. Study A involved the measurement of the dose-response curve of the absorption of ferrous sulfate (through a nonheme-iron absorption pathway); study B involved the competition of iron bis-glycine chelate with ferrous sulfate for the nonheme-iron absorption pathway; study C involved the measurement of the dose-response curve of heme-iron absorption; study D involved the competition of iron bis-glycine chelate with hemoglobin for the heme-iron absorption pathway; and studies E and F were the same as studies A and B, except that the iron bis-glycine chelate was encapsulated in enteric gelatin capsules so that it would not be processed in the stomach.

RESULTS:

Iron from the bis-glycine chelate competed with ferrous sulfate for the nonheme-iron absorption pathway. Iron from the bis-glycine chelate also competed with ferrous sulfate for absorption when liberated directly into the intestinal lumen. Iron from the bis-glycine chelate did not compete with heme iron for the heme-iron absorption pathway.

CONCLUSION:

The iron from iron bis-glycine chelate delivered at the level of the stomach or duodenum becomes part of the nonheme-iron pool and is absorbed as such.

PMID:
12198002
DOI:
10.1093/ajcn/76.3.577
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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