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J Food Sci. 2007 Aug;72(6):S412-9.

Egg yolk protein and egg yolk phosvitin inhibit calcium, magnesium, and iron absorptions in rats.

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Laboratory of Food Science, Faculty of Animal Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034-8628, Japan.


Egg yolk decreases the absorption of iron. The effects of egg yolk protein and egg yolk phosvitin on the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and iron were investigated by in vivo studies. Male Wistar rats were fed purified diets containing casein, soy protein, or egg yolk protein for 14 d. The apparent absorptions of calcium, magnesium, and iron in the rats fed the yolk protein-based diet were lower than those in rats fed the casein- and soy protein-based diets. The apparent phosphorus absorption and the apparent protein digestibility in the yolk protein group were lower than those in the casein and soy protein groups. In the feces of the yolk protein group, serine comprised more than 30% of the amino acids. The addition of egg yolk phosvitin to the casein diets at levels of 1% and 2% (w/w) produced effects on calcium and magnesium absorptions similar to those produced by the diet containing yolk protein. The tricine sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) pattern suggested that phosphopeptide fragments having molecular masses of 28, 22, and 15 kDa were evident in the contents of the small intestine of the rats fed phosvitin diets. These results indicate that yolk protein, when compared with casein and soy protein, decreases calcium and magnesium absorption via the resistance of phosvitin to proteolytic action.

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