1. Is caffeine the cause of coffee inhibiting iron absorption?
Some studies have shown that coffee and other caffeinated beverages can decrease iron absorption. For example. Drinking a cup of coffee while eating a hamburger can reduce iron absorption by up to 39%. Or, when you consume a cup of instant coffee with a piece of bread, it inhibits iron absorption by 60–90%.
Moreover, the stronger the coffee or tea, the higher the caffeine content, and the less iron the body absorbs. Besides inhibiting iron absorption when consuming foods containing caffeine and iron simultaneously, studies have shown that: Drinking coffee regularly can also affect iron stores in the body.
However, the inhibitory effect of coffee and caffeine on iron absorption depends on when you drink coffee. For example, drinking coffee an hour before a meal does not affect iron absorption from food.
2. Is caffeine the only reason that coffee inhibits iron absorption?
However, studies show that caffeine isn’t the only reason coffee inhibits iron absorption. In fact, researchers have shown that caffeine itself only binds to about 6% of dietary iron. This is a relatively small percentage compared to the effect of coffee on iron absorption. Therefore, many studies are conducted to find out other factors in coffee that can inhibit iron absorption.
As a result, scientists have found that polyphenols in coffee and tea can inhibit iron absorption by up to 90%. Common polyphenols include: Chlorogenic acid in coffee, cocoa, and some herbs; Tannins found in black tea coffee. Similar to caffeine, these substances bind to iron during digestion, leaving it in a form that is difficult to absorb.
The ability of caffeine and polyphenols to inhibit iron absorption is dose-dependent. That is, the higher the polyphenol content in the food. In one study, beverages containing 20–50 mg of polyphenols per serving inhibited iron absorption from meals by 50–70%.
Meanwhile, beverages containing 100-400 mg of polyphenols per serving inhibited iron absorption from food by 60–90%. In another study, consuming 5mg of tannin with a meal inhibited iron absorption by 20%, while 25 mg of tannin inhibited iron absorption by 67%, and 100 mg of tannin inhibited iron absorption by 88%.
3. How does coffee affect the absorption of iron of plant and animal origin?
Iron absorption is complex and influenced by many different factors. Studies have shown that the type of iron absorption inhibition by coffee also varies depending on the type of food used to supplement iron in the body.
Iron in food has the form of h2 as heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is often found in foods of animal origin such as meat, poultry, and seafood. In contrast, non-heme iron is mainly found in plant foods and is relatively unstable.
The body absorbs 15-35% better heme iron, while only 2% to 20% of non-heme iron is absorbed under optimal conditions. This is because heme iron is absorbed intact and is not affected by other dietary factors.
The results of the evaluation of the inhibitory effect of caffeine on iron absorption on two forms of iron showed that: coffee and caffeinated beverages had little effect on the absorption of heme iron but had the ability to inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron. relatively strong.
4. What to do to limit the inhibition of iron absorption? (mesh, review )
Although coffee in general and caffeine, in particular, have the effect of inhibiting iron absorption. However, many studies show that coffee and caffeine do not lead to iron deficiency in healthy people. However, people at risk of iron deficiency should not drink a lot of coffee and tea to ensure the body absorbs iron effectively through nutritional supplements with daily food.
Groups of people at risk of iron deficiency include Women of childbearing age, infants and young children, people with limited dietary intake and nutritional deficiencies such as vegetarians, and those with certain medical conditions. digestive diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. Here are effective tips from experts for subjects to limit the inhibition of iron absorption by coffee and caffeinated beverages:
- If drinking coffee or tea, drink it between meals and at least an hour after eating;
- Increase foods containing heme iron through meat, poultry, or seafood;
- Supplement with vitamin C to increase iron absorption;
- Use calcium-rich foods and fiber-rich foods like whole grains separately, away from iron-rich foods.
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