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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1993 Jul;44(1):29-34.

Iron status and growth of rats fed different dietary iron sources.

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Department of Foods and Nutrition, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana, India.


The present study was carried out to investigate the availability of iron from spirulina, whole wheat, whole egg and standard ferrous sulphate in terms of haemoglobin formation, serum and tissue iron levels. Male albino Wistar rats were first depleted of iron by giving low-iron diet (9 ppm) and bleeding 1-2 ml blood at weekly intervals for a period of 21 days. The anaemic rats were repleted with iron sources at a level of 35 ppm for 21 days. Rats receiving whole egg gained significantly (p < 0.01) higher weight than the rest of the three groups. The increase in haemoglobin was significantly higher with ferrous sulphate than with whole wheat (p < 0.05), spirulina and whole egg (p < 0.01). Feeding of ferrous sulphate, whole egg and spirulina produced significantly higher tissue iron levels than feeding of whole wheat. Thus, availability of iron from spirulina and whole egg were found to be comparable to that of the standard.

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