Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2000
Publication Date: 1/1/2001
Citation: Hunt, J.R. 2001. How important is dietary iron bioavailability? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 73:3-4.
Technical Abstract: This invited editorial discusses a newly accepted research paper reporting that altering self-selected diets to increase or decrease ascorbic acid intake does not significantly affect the efficiency of iron absorbed. The editorial discusses this finding in the context of previous research, emphasizing the following points. First, that results may differ between controlled experimental diets and practical diets selected by the research volunteers. Second, that research with controlled experimental diets does not support the conclusion that absorption from single meals, compared with whole diets, is exaggerated by fasting conditions. Third, that serum ferritin, the best measure of iron stores, is relatively insensitive to changes in iron bioavailability. And fourth, that body iron status is as important as dietary iron bioavailability in determining iron absorption from foods.