Dietary phytic acid is a major causative factor for low Zn bioavailability in many cereal- and legume-based diets. The bioavailability of Zn in seed of low phytic acid (lpa) variants of maize (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was evaluated using a suckling rat pupmodel. Suckling rat pups (14 days old, n = 6-8/treatment) were fasted for 6 h and intubated with 65Zn-radiolabeled suspensions prepared using seed produced by either wild-type (normal phytic acid) or lpa genotypes of each cereal. Test solutions were radiolabeled overnight (all genotypes) or immediately prior to intubation (barley genotypes). Pups were killed 6 h postintubation and tissues removed and counted in a gamma counter. Zn absorption was low from wild-type genotypes of maize (21, 33%) and rice (26%), and phytic acid reduction resulted in significantly higher Zn absorption, 47-52 and 35-52%, respectively. Zn absorption from wild-type barley incubated overnight was high (86-91%), and phytate reduction did not improve Zn absorption (84-90%), which is likely due to endogenous phytase activity. When the wild-type barley solutions were prepared immediately before intubation, Zn absorption was significantly lower (63, 78%) than from the lpa cultivars (92, 96%). Variation in seed or flour phenolic acid levels did not affect Zn absorption. Differences in seed Zn levels did not substantially affect Zn absorption. Thus, when phytic acid is abundant in a diet, it has a larger effect on Zn absorption than the level of Zn. Therefore, reducing the phytic acid content of staple cereal grains may contribute to enhancing Zn nutrition of populations consuming these staple foods.
- Myo-inositol hexaphosphate
- Phenolic acid
- Phytic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)