2012 Volume 18 Issue 1 Pages 127-130
We investigated the effects of citric acid and lemon juice on iron absorption and improvement of anemia in iron-deficient rats. In Expt. 1, rats were administered ferric iron solution (2 mg/kg) with various concentrations of citric acid (1 − 6%) by a single oral gavage. The serum iron levels were significantly higher in rats treated with citric acid than those without citric acid. In Expt. 2, anemic rats were administered ferric iron solution (control) with 1% citric acid or diluted lemon juice containing 1% citric acid by oral gavage dose of 2 mg Fe3+/kg/day for 20 d. Heart weight and unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC) were significantly lower in the citric acid group, whereas serum iron level and hematocrit value were significantly higher in the citric acid group than in the control group. Hemoglobin concentration was significantly higher in the citric acid group and lemon juice group. These results suggest beneficial effects of citric acid and lemon juice on iron bioavailability.