1. Iron absorption from rice-containing meals was measured by red cell utilization of radioactive Fe in sixty-six volunteer multiparous Indian women.
2. In all the studies salt added during the cooking process was used as the carrier for supplemental inorganic Fe and ascorbic acid.
3. Intrinsic Fe in the rice and supplementary inorganic Fe were absorbed to the same extent, with a wide range of absorption values.
4. There was a striking difference between the mean absorption of a 3 mg dose of ferrous Fe given to fasting subjects in a solution containing 30 mg ascorbic acid and that of Fe in a rice meal (48.7 and 3.5% respectively).
5. When ascorbic acid was added during cooking there was a threefold increase in the absorption of both intrinsic Fe and supplementary Fe when a sufficient quantity (60 mg) was present.
6. It is concluded that the Fe nutrition of rice-eating communities could be improved significantly by the addition of ascorbic acid to the diet.
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