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Inhibition of haem-iron absorption in man by calcium

  • Leif Hallberg (a1), Lena Rossander-Hulthèn (a1), Mats Brune (a1) and Ann Gleerup (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/BJN19930053
  • Published online: 01 March 2007
Abstract

The inhibiting effect of Ca on non-haem-Fe absorption is well established. Presentstudies showed that Ca inhibited haem-Fe absorption to the same extent when the same amount of Ca (165 mg Ca as CaCl2) was added to a meal. Attempts were made to examine the mechanism for this inhibition in the present studies. Meat is the only known dietary factor influencing haem-Fe absorption. The present studies were designed to examine whether Ca interfered with the enhancing effect of meat on haem-Fe absorption. We found that the inhibition was the same whether biosynthetically radio-Fe-labelled haemoglobin wasgiven in meals with or without meat. The haem-Fe absorption ratio with: without added Cawas 0.59 (SE 0.07) when Ca was added to a hamburger meal, and 0.052 (se 0.03) when added to a wheat roll. These values were not significantly different (t 0.95; P = 0.35). The inhibition of haem-Fe absorption by Ca is, thus, a direct effect on theabsorption of haem-Fe and not an indirect counteracting effect of the well-known enhancing effect of meat on haem-Fe absorption. Control studies were conducted to ensure that haem-Fe had not been degraded to non-haem-Fe during preparation of the foods. Since Ca inhibits the absorption of haem- and non-haem-Fe to the same extent, the present results strongly suggest that Ca interferes with the transport of Fe through the mucosal cell, andata late stage, is common for haemand non-haem-Fe transport. The observations that Ca strongly interferes with the absorption of both haem- and non-haem-Fe have important nutritionalimplications.

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E. Björn-Rasmussen , L. Hallberg & B. Isaksson (1974). Food iron absorption in man. Application of the two-pool extrinsic tag method to measure heme and non-heme iron absorption from the whole diet. Journal of Clinical Investigation 53, 247255.

J. D. Eakins & D. A. Brown (1966). An improved method for the simultaneous determination of iron-55 and iron-59 in blood by liquid scintillation counting. Internationul Journal of Applied Radiation and Isotopes 17 391397.

R. Gräsbäck . I. Kouvonen , M. Lundberg & R. Tenhunen (1979). An intestinal receptor for heme. Scandinavian Journal of Haematology 23, 59.

L. Hallberg (1981). Bioavailability of dietary iron in man. Annual Review of Nutrition 1, 123147.

L. Hallberg , E. Björn-Rasmussen , L. Howard & L. Rossander (1979). A discussion of possible mechanisms for the absorption-promoting effect of meat and for the regulation of iron absorption. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 14, 769–179.

L. Hallberg & L. Sölvell (1967). Absorption of hemoglobin iron in man. Acta Medica Scandinavica 181, 335354.

B. Magnusson , E. Björn-Rasmussen , L. Hallberg & L. Rossander (1981). Iron absorption in relation to iron status. Model proposed to express results of food iron absorption measurements. Scandinavian Journal of Haematology 27, 201208.

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L. R. Weintraub , M. R. Weinstein , H.-J. Huser & S. Rafal (1968). Absorption of hemoglobin iron. The role of a heme-splitting substance in intestinal mucosa. Journal of Clinical Investigation 47, 531539.

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  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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