Effects of coffee consumption on iron, zinc and copper status in nonpregnant and pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats

Pamela S. Aldrian, Carl L Keen, Bo Lönnerdal, Kathryn G. Dewey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To investigate the influence of coffee consumption on iron, zinc and copper status, 64 Sprague-Dawley female rats were assigned to four treatment groups: nonpregnant-given coffee, nonpregnant-given water, pregnant-given coffee and pregnant-given water. The coffee groups received a freeze-dried coffee solution (1.1% w/v) as the sole source of liquids during the 18-day study period; all groups were provided a purified diet marginal in iron ad libitum. On day 18 (of gestation in the pregnant rats), rats were intubated with 0.033 MBq 59Fe after an 8 h fast and killed 4, 8, 12 or 24 h post-gavage. Fluid intake was significantly lower in the coffee groups. Coffee did not affect food consumption, weight gain, hemoglobin or hematocrit in either pregnant or nonpregnant rats. In nonpregnant rats, the percentage of 59Fe was lower in plasma and higher in the spleen and erythrocytes in the coffee group than in controls; in pregnant rats the coffee group had a higher percentage of 59Fe in the stomach (at 4 h only), blood, spleen and bone than controls. There were no significant effects of coffee on tissue concentrations of Fe, Zn or Cu in the nonpregnant group, but pregnant rats given coffee had high concentrations of Fe in the liver, bone and placenta, and low placenta Zn concentrations compared to controls. In fetuses, there were trends towards lower weight, length, and percentage 59Fe, but higher liver Fe, in the coffee group than in the controls. The results suggest that coffee intake leads to (a) increased attempts at erythropoeisis, an indication of iron deficiency, in both nonpregnant and pregnant rats, and (b) impaired placental Fe transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of coffee consumption on iron, zinc and copper status in nonpregnant and pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this