Document Detail

Erythorbic acid is a potent enhancer of nonheme-iron absorption.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14684404     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Erythorbic acid, a stereoisomer of ascorbic acid with similar physicochemical properties, is widely used as an antioxidant in processed foods. OBJECTIVES: The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effect of erythorbic acid on iron absorption from ferrous sulfate at molar ratios of 2:1 and 4:1 (relative to iron) and to compare the effect of erythorbic acid directly with that of ascorbic acid at a molar ratio of 4:1. DESIGN: Iron absorption from iron-fortified cereal was measured in 10 women on the basis of erythrocyte incorporation of stable iron isotopes ((57)Fe or (58)Fe) 14 d after administration. Each woman consumed 4 ferrous-sulfate-fortified test meals (containing 5 mg Fe/meal) with or without added erythorbic or ascorbic acid. The data were evaluated by use of paired t tests, and the results are presented as geometric means. RESULTS: Iron absorption from the test meal without any added enhancer was 4.1%. The addition of erythorbic acid (at molar ratios of 2:1 and 4:1 relative to iron) increased iron absorption 2.6-fold (10.8%; P < 0.0001) and 4.6-fold (18.8%; P < 0.0001), respectively. The addition of ascorbic acid (molar ratio of 4:1) increased iron absorption 2.9-fold (11.7%; P = 0.0004). At a molar ratio of 4:1, erythorbic acid was 1.6-fold (P = 0.0002) as potent an enhancer of iron absorption as was ascorbic acid. CONCLUSION: Although erythorbic acid is a potent enhancer of iron absorption, its lack of antiscorbutic activity limits its usefulness in iron-fortification programs. However, it may play a major role in enhancing iron bioavailability from mixed diets that include foods preserved with erythorbic acid.
Meredith C Fidler; Lena Davidsson; Christophe Zeder; Richard F Hurrell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  79     ISSN:  0002-9165     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Clin. Nutr.     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-12-19     Completed Date:  2004-01-20     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376027     Medline TA:  Am J Clin Nutr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  99-102     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Rueschlikon, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
Food, Fortified
Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
Iron / blood,  pharmacokinetics*
Reg. No./Substance:
50-81-7/Ascorbic Acid; 7439-89-6/Iron; 89-65-6/isoascorbic acid

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