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Bioavailability of Iron and Zinc from Multiple Micronutrient Fortified Beverage Premixes in Caco-2 Cell Model



Abstract:  Iron and zinc deficiencies are the most prevalent nutrient deficiencies worldwide. They often coexist as the dietary factors, especially phytate, which impairs iron absorption also affects zinc absorption. Therefore, suitable strategies are required to control multiple micronutrient deficiencies in populations that subsist on high-phytate foods such as the whole wheat flour based Indian bread (chapatti). The objective of the study, therefore, was to test the bioavailability of iron and zinc in 2 multiple micronutrient beverage premixes in the absence and presence of chapatti. The premix-1 contained iron, zinc, and vitamin A while premix-2 contained all micronutrients in premix-1, plus folic acid and ascorbic acid. Ferritin induction and 65Zn uptake were assessed using coupled in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell line model as the surrogate markers of iron and zinc bioavailability, respectively. The results show that iron bioavailability from premixes-1 and 2 was similar in the absence of chapatti. However, premix-2 showed significantly higher iron bioavailability compared to premix-1 in the presence of chapatti. In contrast, the zinc uptake was similar from both premixes-1 and 2 in the absence or presence of chapatti. These results suggest that both the premixes provide bioavailable minerals, but premix-2 appears to be promising in the presence of foods that have high phytate.