Iron absorption from soybean ferritin in nonanemic women

We found that iron from animal ferritin was highly available, and its absorption was equal to that of iron from FeSO4

Bo Lönnerdal


Scholarcy highlights

  • Ferritin is a storage form of iron in plants, legumes, and an increasing target for improving seed iron composition
  • The iron status of the 16 women participating in the study was adequate, one woman was slightly anemic and 4 were iron deficient as defined by low serum ferritin concentrations
  • In our previous study, we found no significant difference in iron absorption from animal ferritin and FeSO4
  • We found no significant difference in iron absorption between the 2 forms, which suggested that this difference in phosphate content of the iron mineral does not affect iron absorption
  • Iron absorption from soybean ferritin, as determined by whole-body counting, was somewhat higher than that from horse spleen ferritin in our previous study, it should be noted that iron absorption from FeSO4 was proportionally higher. This finding is most likely explained by the smaller amount of iron given in the present study, because the difficulty in isolating large amounts of purified soybean ferritin, in contrast with ferritin from the unusually iron-rich horse spleen, restricted the amounts of purified soybean ferritin available and we had to limit the dose of iron given
  • It is well known that iron absorption is inversely correlated with the dose given and with iron status
  • We found a very good correlation between iron absorption from ferritin estimated by the red blood cells incorporation method and by whole-body counting

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