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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2004 Nov;74(6):435-43.

Iron amino acid chelates.

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Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago.


Iron amino acid chelates, such as iron glycinate chelates, have been developed to be used as food fortificants and therapeutic agents in the prevention and treatment of iron deficiency anemia. Ferrous bis-glycine chelate (FeBC), ferric tris-glycine chelate, ferric glycinate, and ferrous bis-glycinate hydrochloride are available commercially. FeBC is the most studied and used form. Iron absorption from FeBC is affected by enhancers and inhibitors of iron absorption, but to a lesser extent than ferrous sulfate. Its absorption is regulated by iron stores. FeBC is better absorbed from milk, wheat, whole maize flour, and precooked corn flour than is ferrous sulfate. Supplementation trials have demonstrated that FeBC is efficacious in treating iron deficiency anemia. Consumption of FeBC-fortified liquid milk, dairy products, wheat rolls, and multi-nutrient beverages is associated with an improvement of iron status. The main limitations to the widespread use of FeBC in national fortification programs are the cost and the potential for promoting organoleptic changes in some food matrices. Additional research is required to establish the bioavailability of FeBC in different food matrices. Other amino acid chelates should also be evaluated. Finally there is an urgent need for more rigorous efficacy trials designed to define the relative merits of amino acid chelates when compared with bioavailable iron salts such as ferrous sulfate and ferrous fumarate and to determine appropriate fortification levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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