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December 2019

J Am Diet Assoc. 1992 Dec; 92(12): 1474-8.

Zinc and iron utilization in young women consuming a beef-based diet.

Johnson JM, Walker PM.

Department of Home Economics, Illinois State University, Normal 61761.

The purpose of this study was to determine the utilization of zinc in young adult women fed diets containing varying amounts of lean ground beef. A secondary objective was to determine the utilization of iron. The 28-day study was divided into one 7-day preexperimental period, during which a vegetarian diet was fed, and three randomly arranged 7-day experimental periods. During the experimental periods, the diets contained 3, 6, or 9 oz of beef, supplying varying levels of zinc and iron. Complete collections of urine and fecal samples were obtained from each subject. All the diets resulted in positive zinc balance; however, mean zinc balances were significantly higher when subjects consumed the experimental diets containing beef. When data for all diets containing beef were combined, mean values for apparent zinc absorption and zinc retention were not significantly higher than values that resulted from the vegetarian diet. Consumption of all diets resulted in a positive iron balance; however, mean iron balances were significantly higher for diets containing beef. As the amount of beef in the diet increased, the bioavailability of iron increased. We found that zinc and iron utilization was enhanced after consumption of a diet including lean ground beef. Results of this study also suggest that little increase in zinc and iron utilization is realized by including more than 3 oz beef per day in the diet.


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