Effect of dietary phytate and microbial phytase on mineral and trace element bioavailability - a literature review

Gerald Rimbach, Josef Pallauf, Jennifer Moehring, Klaus Kraemer, Anne Marie Minihane

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Phytic acid (PA) is the main phosphorus storage compound in cereals, legumes and oil seeds. In human populations where phytate-rich cereals such as wheat, maize and rice are a staple food, phytate may lead to mineral and trace element deficiency. Zinc appears to be the trace element whose bioavailability is most influenced by PA. Furthermore, several studies in humans as well as in monogastric animals clearly indicate an inhibition of non-haem iron absorption at marginal iron supply due to phytic acid. In fact PA seems to be, at least partly, responsible for the low absorption efficiency and high incidence of iron deficiency anaemia evident in most developing countries, where largely vegetarian diets are consumed. Microbial phytases have provided a realistic means of improving mineral availability from traditionally high-phytate diets. In fact it has been consistently shown that Aspergillus phytases significantly enhance the absorption of calcium, magnesium and zinc in pigs and rats. Furthermore there are a few studies in humans indicating an improvement of iron bioavailability due to microbial phytase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-144
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Topics in Nutraceutical Research
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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