Sodium iron NaFeEDTA as an iron fortification compound in Central America. Absorption studies.Am J Clin Nutr. 1978 Jun; 31(6):961-71.AJ
Studies were performed in seven children and 98 adults to compare the proportion of iron absorbed when administered as ferric sulfate (Fe2(SO4)3), NaFeEDTA, hemoglobin (Hb), and ferrous ascorbate. Studies in children (mostly iron deficient) showed that when the compounds were given with a milk-rice-sugar formula totalling 5 mg Fe, iron from hemoglobin was absorbed best, followed by NaFeEDTA and by Fe2(SO4)3 (mean percent absorption +/-SD = 34.5 +/- 1.5, 8.6 +/- 1.9 and 3.3 +/- 1.5, respectively). Studies in normal or iron deficient adults also demonstrated a better absorption of iron from NaFeEDTA than from Fe2(SO4)3 whether these compounds were given in an aqueous solution (5 mg Fe) or with a standard meal consisting of beans, tortillas, bread, and coffee providing also a total of 5 mg Fe. Hb iron under the same conditions was absorbed in the same proportion to the reference iron ascorbate, always being higher than iron absorbed from the other compounds. Fe2(SO4)3 and NaFeEDTA mixed in the same meal were absorbed in the same proportion as when NaFeEDTA alone was added to the meal and 2 to 3 times better than when Fe2(SO4)3 alone was added to the meal. Addition of desferrioxamine depressed iron absorption from Fe2(SO4)3 and NaFeEDTA, the latter being less affected. Addition of ascorbic acid increased absorption from both. When the compounds were added to the meal to provide 50 mg of iron, percent absorption was depressed in relation to the smaller iron dose in the case of Fe2(SO4)3 and Hb but remained unaltered in the case of NaFeEDTA. Addition of 45 mg Fe as Fe2(SO4)3 or NaFeEDTA to 0.4 mg Fe from the Hb in the meal did not change Hb iron absorption. Addition of 45 mg Fe as Hb or NaFeEDTA to 0.4 mg Fe from Fe2(SO4)3 in the meal enhanced iron absorption from the latter in the same proportions. Addition of 45 mg Fe as Fe2(SO4)3 and Hb to 0.4 mg Fe as NaFeEDTA in the meal respectively depressed and enhanced iron absorption from NaFeEDTA. These studies indicate that NaFeEDTA, Fe2(SO4)3 and nonheme food iron from a common pool different from the heme pool but which is changed in its characteristics by the presence of NaFeEDTA, resulting in a better absorption of iron.