Stabilized ferrous gluconate as iron source for food fortification: Bioavailability and toxicity studies in rats

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Abstract

The iron bioavailability and acute oral toxicity in rats of a ferrous gluconate compound stabilized with glycine (SFG), designed for food fortification, was studied in this work by means of the prophylactic method and the Wilcoxon method, respectively. For the former studies, SFG was homogeneously added to a basal diet of low iron content, reaching a final iron concentration of 20.1 +/- 2.4 mg Fe/kg diet. A reference standard diet using ferrous sulfate as an iron-fortifying source (19.0 +/- 2.1 mg Fe/kg diet) and a control diet without iron additions (9.3 +/- 1.4 mg Fe/kg diet) were prepared in the laboratory in a similar way. These diets were administered to three different groups of weaning rats during 23 d as the only type of solid nourishment. The iron bioavailability of SFG was calculated as the relationship between the mass of iron incorporated into hemoglobin during the treatment and the total iron intake per animal. This parameter resulted in 36.6 +/- 6.2% for SFG, whereas a value of 35.4 +/- 8.0% was obtained for ferrous sulfate. The acute toxicological studies were performed in two groups of 70 female and 70 male Sprague-Dawley rats that were administered increasing doses of iron from SFG. The LD50 values of 1775 and 1831 mg SFG/kg body wt were obtained for female and male rats, respectively, evidencing that SFG can be considered as a safe compound from a toxicological point of view.

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Lysionek, A. E., Zubillaga, M. B., Salgueiro, M. J., Caro, R. A., Leonardi, N. M., Ettlin, E., & Boccio, J. R. (2003). Stabilized ferrous gluconate as iron source for food fortification: Bioavailability and toxicity studies in rats. Biological Trace Element Research, 94(1), 73–77. https://doi.org/10.1385/BTER:94:1:73

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