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Effect of dietary phytic acid on zinc absorption in the healthy elderly, as assessed by serum concentration curve tests

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

François Couzy*
Nestlé Research Centre – NESTEC Ltd., PO Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
Robert Mansourian
Nestlé Research Centre – NESTEC Ltd., PO Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
Arielle Labate
Nestlé Research Centre – NESTEC Ltd., PO Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
Sylvie Guinchard
Nestlé Research Centre – NESTEC Ltd., PO Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
Dirk H. Montagne
Nestlé Research & Development Centre, Sonnrainstrasse 19, PO Box 12, CH-3510 Konolfingen 1, Switzerland
Henri Dirren
Nestlé Research Centre – NESTEC Ltd., PO Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
*Corresponding author: Dr F. Couzy, fax +41 21 785 85 56, email
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Zn absorption was investigated in healthy elderly subjects aged 71–78 years and in young subjects aged 23–43 years using serum concentration curve (SCC) tests. Both groups had similar Zn and protein status. The increase in serum Zn was monitored for 180 min after ingestion of 200ml of soya milk enriched with 50mg of Zn. Three levels of phytic acid were used: 0g/200ml (totally dephytinized soya milk), 0.13 g/200ml (half dephytinized), and 0.26 g/200ml (natural phytic acid content). In a first study the effect of 0 v. 0.26 g/200 ml phytic acid was compared in 10 elderly and 10 young subjects, each subject receiving both treatments. In a second study soya milks with 0 and 0.13 g/200ml were tested in nine elderly and ten young subjects, again receiving both treatments. Mean areas under the curve of the SCC tests conducted with the 0 g/200 ml soya milk were found to be the same in both studies. Phytic acid strongly depressed Zn absorption in both studies (P ≤ 0.05), but to a greater extent at the 0.26 g/200ml level. No difference was found between the groups of young and elderly subjects. Therefore, no significant effect of aging on Zn absorption, as evaluated by the SCC test, or on the inhibitory effect of phytic acid was detected.

Research Article
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1998


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