Iron absorption in humans: bovine serum albumin compared with beef muscle and egg white.Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Jan; 47(1):102-7.AJ
We studied the influence of bovine serum albumin and beef meat on nonheme iron absorption in humans and on dialyzable iron in vitro. The addition of serum albumin to a maize gruel had no significant effect on nonheme Fe absorption whereas the addition of beef meat caused a threefold increase. When added to a bread meal, serum albumin caused a modest 60% increase in nonheme Fe absorption and beef meat had no effect. When added to a protein-free meal, serum albumin reduced Fe absorption by 47% compared with a 72% reduction on addition of egg white. The bioavailability of nonheme Fe from meals containing serum albumin was consistently overestimated by the in vitro technique. We conclude that the facilitation of nonheme Fe absorption by meat is not a general property of all animal protein but is better explained by the action of one or more specific animal tissues.