Rice and iron absorption in man.Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990 Jul; 44(7):489-97.EJ
Several studies suggest that iron absorption is low from rice-based meals. Comparisons of the effect of rice starch and wheat starch on iron absorption showed that rice had no effect on absorption. Observed differences in effects on iron absorption between different batches of rice starch could be explained by differences in the phytate content. Phytate is always present in rice grains. The content varies markedly depending on the method of milling. In polished rice, the content of phytate-P varied between 11.5 and 66 mg/100 g rice (data from 45 rice mills in Thailand). The bioavailability of iron in a meal composed of meat, a vegetable and rice varied about threefold (22.1-7.5 per cent) depending on the different phytate content of the rice (4 levels between 30 and 175 mg phytate-P were studied). The inhibitory effect of the phytate in rice was overcome by adding different amounts of an ascorbic acid-rich vegetable (green collard) to the meals.