oa Central African Journal of Medicine - In vivo evaluation of iron bioavailability in some Nigerian peasant meals by haemoglobin regeneration technique

Volume 39, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



The bioavailability of iron in three different rural Nigerian peasant meals was studied. The meals were: pounded yam (Discorea spp) with 'afia efere' - (plain soup); 'ekpang nkukwo' - grated cocoyam (Xanthosoma maffafa Schott) and cocoyam leaves with pepper and plantain porridge (Musa paradisiaca) with water leaf (Talinum triangulare). Analyses of the meals showed the protein content to range from 8,58 ± 0,01 mg/100g DM to 11,38 ± 0,08/100g DM. Iron content ranged from 17,50 ± 2,50 mg/l00 DM to 23,94 ± 3,56 mg/l00g DM. The rehabilitation of mildly anaemic rats with test meals showed the percentage of the ingested iron utilised for haemoglobin synthesis as: 48,08 ± 0,51 pc; 18,09 ± 0,41 pc; 19,09 ± 0,36 pc for the test diets respectively and 60,80 ± 0,22 pc for the control group. A comparison of the utilization of iron between the test and the control groups showed that there was a significant difference (p < 0,01) between the test and the control groups. The low level of iron enhancers in the meals has been suggested as the possible cause of the marginal level of iron availability from the meals to the test animals.

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