Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Oct;54(4):717-22.

Assessment of the role of nonheme-iron availability in iron balance.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City 66103.


To assess the nutritional relevance of absorption studies that use extrinsically labeled single meals, we developed a method for measuring nonheme-iron absorption from the diet and compared the results with absorption from single meals. When subjects consumed their usual diet, there was good agreement between dietary absorption (6.4%) and representative single meals fed in the laboratory (6.1%). Nonheme-iron availability, as estimated by a model that incorporated the effect of both enhancers and inhibitors, correlated significantly with absorption from single meals but not with dietary absorption. When the diet was modified to promote iron absorption maximally, dietary absorption increased only slightly (8.0%) and remained significantly lower than it was from single meals (13.5%). With an inhibitory diet, the decrease in absorption from single meals was similarly exaggerated. These results indicate that in the context of a varied Western diet, nonheme-iron bioavailability is less important than absorption studies with single meals would suggest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center