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J Nutr. 1987 Feb;117(2):321-7.

Absorption of zinc from soy protein meals in humans.


The absorption of zinc from soy protein-containing meals was studied in healthy human subjects by means of extrinsic labelling with 65Zn and whole body counting. Three types of soy protein, a soy flour, a soy concentrate and a soy isolate, were used in two types of meals: one consisting of rice and meat sauce and the other of white or whole-meal bread. Thirty and 100% of the protein of the meat sauce and 50% of the protein of bread was replaced with the soy protein products. Replacement of 30% of the protein in meat sauce had a marginal effect on the percentage absorption of zinc, whereas the absolute amount of zinc absorbed was lower due to the lower zinc content in soy products than in meat. After total replacement of the meat protein, a significantly lower percentage and absolute absorption of zinc was observed. A lower absorption of zinc was observed when soy protein was added to white bread. The absorption of zinc from the whole-meal bread was low and did not change when 50% of the flour protein was replaced by soy protein. We conclude that the effect of soy protein on zinc absorption depends on the degree of replacement, the phytic acid and zinc content of the soy product and the protein content of the meal.

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