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Ann Nutr Metab. 1994;38(4):226-31.

Effect of tea on iron absorption from the typical Tunisian meal 'couscous' fed to healthy rats.

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Ecole supérieure des Sciences et Techniques de la Santé de Tunis, Université Tunis-II, Tunisie.


Black and green tea decoctions are popular beverages in Tunisia, especially after eating. Our study was performed to examine the effect of graded amounts of black and green tea decoction prepared under realistic Tunisian conditions on nonheme iron absorption from a typical Tunisian meal, 'couscous', by extrinsic radioiron labeling in rats. Concentrations of 300, 200 and 100 micrograms/ml of black tea decreased dramatically nonheme iron bioavailability from couscous, but 50 micrograms/ml did not influence iron absorption. The inhibition of nonheme iron from couscous varied from 36 to 61% with black tea and 30.5% with green tea. Taken together, our findings show that the tea decoction in Tunisia has a great inhibitory power and may constitute an important factor for the development of iron deficiency anemia throughout Tunisia.

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