Partially hydrolyzed guar gum increases intestinal absorption of iron in growing rats with iron deficiency anemia

Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;25(5):851-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2006.02.010. Epub 2006 May 5.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) dietary fiber towards intestinal iron absorption, for dietary intake and on the growth of rats with iron deficiency anemia in comparison to those fed on a diet with cellulose and without dietary fiber.

Materials and methods: Male Wistar rats (n=24) weaned at 21 days were fed with AIN93-G diet without iron for 2 weeks in order to induce iron deficiency anemia. At 36 days old, the anemic rats were divided into three groups: (1) PHGG group-100g of PHGG per kg of diet; (2) Cellulose group-100g of cellulose per kg of diet; (3) Control group-diet without dietary fiber. All the diets had 25mg of elemental iron/kg of diet added to lead to recovery from iron deficiency anemia.

Results: The final hemoglobin values in g/dl, for the PHGG group, the cellulose group and the control group were, respectively: 11.3+/-1.2, 8.6+/-0.7 and 8.1+/-0.9 (P<0.001). The levels of hepatic iron, in mug/g of dry tissue, in the same order, were: 322.2+/-66.6, 217.2+/-59.1 and 203.7+/-42.4 (P<0.001). Apparent iron intestinal absorption was, respectively: 67.5+/-8.9%, 35.4+/-15.3% and 31.3+/-24.9% (P<0.001). The three groups consumed similar quantities of diet. The changes in weight and in body length were similar in the three groups studied.

Conclusion: PHGG led to greater intestinal absorption of iron, regeneration of hemoglobin and hepatic levels of iron than diet with cellulose and diet control.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diet therapy*
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Cellulose / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Galactans / pharmacology*
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Hydrolysis
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Iron, Dietary / pharmacokinetics*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mannans / pharmacology*
  • Plant Gums / pharmacology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Galactans
  • Hemoglobins
  • Iron, Dietary
  • Mannans
  • Plant Gums
  • Cellulose
  • guar gum