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Toxicol Ind Health. 2004 Sep;20(6-10):119-22.

Effect of Mentha piperita (Labiatae) and Mentha spicata (Labiatae) on iron absorption in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Suleyman Demirel University, Faculty of Medicine, Isparta, Turkey.



The effect of Mentha piperita (Labiatae) and Mentha spicata (Labiatae) teas, which contain different phenol compounds, on iron metabolism was studied. These teas grow in different areas of the city of Isparta, Turkey. These herbals were given to the rats in tea.


Forty-eight male Wistar albino rats weighing 200-250 g were used for this study. The rats were divided into four groups of 12 animals: Group I received no herbal tea (control group); Group II received 20 g/L M. piperita tea; Group III received 20 g/L M. spicata tea; Group IV received 40 g/L M. spicata tea. Herbal teas were prepared daily and provided at all times to the rats over 30 days as drinking water.


M. piperita tea caused a decrease in serum iron and ferritin levels (P < 0.05), and caused an increase in unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC) (P < 0.01). M. spicata tea caused no significant change in serum iron, ferritin levels and UIBC (P > 0.05).


Both herbal teas inhibited Fe absorption. Inhibition caused by M. spicata tea was dose dependent. Therefore, when drinking these teas, their effect should be considered, especially for children and anemic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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