Sodium iron EDTA [NaFe(III)EDTA] as a food fortificant does not influence absorption and urinary excretion of manganese in healthy adults

Lena Davidsson, A. Almgren, R. F. Hurrell

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19 Citations (Scopus)


NaFe(III)EDTA is a promising iron (Fe) compound for food fortification programs because of its high Fe bioavailability from meals containing dietary inhibitors of Fe absorption such as phytic acid. However, this Fe compound is not currently used in any large-scale fortification program because of concern over its possible negative influence on the metabolism of other essential minerals or its possible influence on the absorption of potentially toxic elements, such as manganese (Mn). In this study, Mn absorption and urinary excretion were studied in adults after intake of an Fe-fortified weaning cereal labeled with 54Mn. In a crossover design, the fortification of the weaning cereal with Fe as NaFeEDTA was compared with ferrous sulfate. Manganese absorption was measured by extrapolation from whole-body retention data 10-30 d after intake, and urinary excretion of 54Mn was measured over 7 d. No significant differences in 54Mn absorption or urinary excretion were found; 1.1 ± 0.15 and 0.91 ± 0.35% of the ingested dose was absorbed from the cereal fortified with NaFe(III)EDTA and FeSO4, respectively. Urinary excretion of 54Mn was very low; the total radioactivity in urine represented 1.1 ± 0.55% of the absorbed dose with NaFe(III)EDTA and 0.72 ± 0.53% of the absorbed dose with FeSO4. Until now, Fe-fortification programs have met with only limited success. The introduction of NaFeEDTA as a food fortificant could be a useful tool to provide bioavailable Fe to vulnerable groups in the population and thus aid in combating Fe deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1143
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 1998


  • Iron fortification humans
  • Manganese
  • NaFeEDTA
  • Urinary excretion


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