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J Nutr. 1992 Mar;122(3):442-9.

Iron absorption from bread in humans: inhibiting effects of cereal fiber, phytate and inositol phosphates with different numbers of phosphate groups.

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Department of Medicine II and Clinical Nutrition, University of Göteborg, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Sweden.


Iron absorption was measured from five kinds of bread made from various types of flour and fermented in different ways in order to obtain a wide variation in the content of fiber, phytate (inositol hexaphosphate) and its degradation products, inorganic phosphate and inositol phosphates with fewer numbers of phosphate groups (inositol pentaphosphate through monophosphate). Each experiment had 9-10 subjects and, in each subject, iron absorption was measured from control rolls made from low extraction wheat flour and one kind of test roll using two different radioiron tracers: 55Fe and 59Fe. The inhibition of iron absorption was closely related to the content of phytate-phosphorous as determined using the AOAC method, and to the sum of the tri- through hexaphosphate groups as determined using the HPLC method. As an example, prolonged fermentation of whole-rye bread reduced total inositol phosphates to the same amount as in the control rolls and increased fractional iron absorption to the same high level, in spite of a fiber content five times as great. The results strongly suggest that the inhibitory effect of bran on iron absorption is due to its content of phytate and other inositol phosphates present after fermentation, rather than to its content of fiber or other constituents. Thus, effective fermentation will increase the bioavailability of iron in whole-meal bread.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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