Reduction of phytic acid in soybean products improves zinc bioavailability in rats

J. R. Zhou, E. J. Fordyce, V. Raboy, D. B. Dickinson, M. S. Wong, R. A. Burns, J. W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inhibitory effect of phytic acid in soybean products on zinc bioavailability was evaluated in two experiments in rats. In Experiment 1, soybean flours containing different natural phytic acid levels produced by sand culture techniques that limited phosphorus during growth of the soybean plants were formulated into diets. The rats fed a higher phytic acid level diet had lower food intake, depressed weight gain, and lower tibia zinc gain (P < 0.05). A negative, linear relationship between tibia zinc gain and dietary phytic acid level was found. In Experiment 2, two commercially produced soybean isolates containing either normal phytic acid level or a reduced level were formulated into diets. Slope ratio analysis revealed that relative zinc bioavailability from phytic acid-containing soybean isolate- based diets was significantly reduced (P < 0.05) compared with control diets. Reduced phytic acid soybean isolate-containing diets resulted in a significant increase of zinc bioavailability compared with normal phytic acid diets (P < 0.01). These results coupled with other reports indicate that phytic acid is the primary inhibitory factor in soybean products that results in reduced zinc bioavailability and that phytate reduction in soybean protein increases zinc bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2466-2473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992


  • bioavailability
  • phytic acid
  • rats
  • soybean protein
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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