Polyphenols in Sorghum and Iron Absorption

2014-07-23 21:08:16 | BioPortfolio


Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia are two major public health problems in developing countries. In these countries, the use of monotonous plant-based diets, low in animal source food but high in iron absorption inhibitors such as phytic acid or polyphenol, lead to poor iron status or aggravate poor iron status caused by infections. In many West African countries sorghum is a major source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals especially for the most poverty-stricken people. Some sorghum varieties are known to contain high levels of polyphenols which have an inhibitory effect on iron absorption in humans. Polyphenols are a huge group of plant metabolites with varying chemical structures. Depending on their structure, the level of complex formation with iron in the intestine and thus the negative effect on iron absorption is different.

Micronutrient deficiency can be combated by fortification of plant-based staples. Fortification is a promising food-based approach which can be applied when other strategies fail to provide adequate levels of the respective micronutrient in the diet. To fortify foods with iron, a wide variety of different iron compounds have been used. The iron compound sodium iron ethylenediaminetetraacetic (NaFeEDTA) overcomes the inhibitory effect of phytate on human iron absorption. No information about the potential enhancing effect of NaFeEDTA in presence of polyphenol is available.

The aims of the study are to investigate the effect of different sorghum polyphenol concentrations on human iron absorption and to investigate if the negative impact of the polyphenols can be overcome by using NaFeEDTA as iron compound. The study will include 32 apparently healthy young women which will consume sorghum porridges with different polyphenol levels and sorghum porridges fortified with ferrous sulfate as compared to NaFeEDTA. Iron absorption will be determined by stable isotope technique.

Study Design

Primary Purpose: Basic Science


Iron Absorption in Presence of Polyphenols


labeled iron solutions


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich


Not yet recruiting


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Results (where available)

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Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:08:16-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A multifunctional iron-sulfur protein that is both an iron regulatory protein and cytoplasmic form of aconitate hydratase. It binds to iron regulatory elements found on mRNAs involved in iron metabolism and regulates their translation. Its rate of degradation is increased in the presence of IRON.

Iron or iron compounds used in foods or as food. Dietary iron is important in oxygen transport and the synthesis of the iron-porphyrin proteins hemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, and cytochrome oxidase. Insufficient amounts of dietary iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.

An excessive accumulation of iron in the body due to a greater than normal absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract or from parenteral injection. This may arise from idiopathic hemochromatosis, excessive iron intake, chronic alcoholism, certain types of refractory anemia, or transfusional hemosiderosis. (From Churchill's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 1989)

A multifunctional iron-sulfur protein that is both an iron regulatory protein and cytoplasmic form of aconitate hydratase. It binds to iron regulatory elements found on mRNAs involved in iron metabolism and regulates their translation. Its RNA binding ability and its aconitate hydrolase activity are dependent upon availability of IRON.

Anemia characterized by a decrease in the ratio of the weight of hemoglobin to the volume of the erythrocyte, i.e., the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration is less than normal. The individual cells contain less hemoglobin than they could have under optimal conditions. Hypochromic anemia may be caused by iron deficiency from a low iron intake, diminished iron absorption, or excessive iron loss. It can also be caused by infections or other diseases, therapeutic drugs, lead poisoning, and other conditions. (Stedman, 25th ed; from Miale, Laboratory Medicine: Hematology, 6th ed, p393)

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