Comparison between in vitro and in vivo methods to screen iron bioavailability
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An enhanced in vitro method to screen iron bioavailability (Fe-BA) was compared with an in vivo human method. Two recipes, previously evaluated in vivo for Fe-BA, were replicated and fed to an in vitro system. The first, a semi-synthetic meal, tested the effect of ascorbic acid on iron absorption. The second, a corn-bean meal, assessed in three experiments, the effect of Na(2)EDTA plus ferrous fumarate and the effect of FeSO4 and NaFeEDTA fortificants on iron absorption. For the first recipe, the in vitro and in vivo results were highly correlated (r = 0.9765; P = 0.0008). For the second recipe, the in vitro method displayed a similar trend to the in vivo results vis-a-vis ferrous sulfate and NaFeEDTA, but not ferrous fumarate plus Na(2)EDTA. This method is appropriate for rapid screening of a large number of samples prior to human evaluations; it uses less samples, reagent and supplies than a previous in vitro method.
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