Polyphenols in foods may chelate dietary Fe and lower its bioavailability. Concentrations of phenols are higher in red beans than in white beans. The aim of this study was to compare iron bioavailabilities from red and white beans in a piglet hemoglobin repletion model. Fe deficient cross bred piglets (Hampshire × Landrace × Yorkshire) were used. Nutritionally balanced diets (except for Fe) were formulated to contain 50% precooked, dehydrated beans (either small red or Great Northern white). At age 5 weeks, the piglets were assigned to two groups and fed diets containing either red or white beans for 4 weeks. Weight and hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations were monitored weekly. Feed intakes were measured daily. Hemoglobin repletion efficiency (HRE) was calculated as the gain in total body hemoglobin Fe (Hb-Fe) divided by Fe intake. Hb concentrations, Hb-Fe gains, and HRE were not different between the groups at any time point (p > 0.05). HRE values in the red bean group were 50% in the first week and 30% over the entire 4 week period. In the white bean group, they were 56 and 26%, respectively. Proline-rich protein mRNA concentrations in parotid glands were higher in the red bean group compared to the white bean group. These results show that iron bioavailabilities from red and white beans are similar and suggest that pigs adapt to the inhibitory effects of polyphenols on iron absorption by increasing the secretion of protective proline-rich proteins in the saliva.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2008) 56 (13) 5008-5014 [doi: 10.1021/jf8000026]