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Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Feb;53(2):554-7.

Dose-dependent inhibitory effect of phenolic compounds in foods on nonheme-iron absorption in men.

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Department of Radiology, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Göteborg, Sweden.


Nonheme-iron absorption from a typical Southeast Asian meal was studied to examine the effect of a common vegetable, Yod Kratin, which contains a considerable amount of iron-binding phenolic groups. Yod Kratin (leaves of the lead tree) is a very popular vegetable in Thailand. It is consumed at least once a week year round, sometimes every day, together with the main meal. With a common portion size of the vegetable (20 g), iron absorption was reduced by almost 90%. As little as 5 g inhibited iron absorption by 75%. Addition of ascorbic acid partly counteracted inhibition. Adding 100 mg ascorbic acid reduced inhibition of iron absorption from 5 g Yod Kratin by half and the inhibition from 10 g Yod Kratin by a quarter. The study illustrates the marked effect of iron-binding phenolic compounds on iron nutrition and, thus, the importance of acquiring knowledge of the content of such compounds in different foods.

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