The effect of ascorbic acid and lactose on the interaction between iron and each of zinc or copper during intestinal absorption was studied in normal and iron-deficient rats. It was found that addition of cobalt to the iron dose inhibited absorption of iron to 42% in normal rats and to 46.7% in iron deficient ones. The presence of zinc with the iron dose also inhibited absorption of iron to 34.6% in normal rats and to 32.2% in case of the iron deficient ones. The addition of ascorbic acid to the combined dose of Fe + Co enhanced absorption of iron by five times in normal and in iron deficient rats. In case of the combined dose of Fe + Zn the enhancement was four times in normal rats and six times in iron deficient ones. The addition of lactose to the combined dose of either Fe + Co or Fe + Zn corrected the inhibiting action of either cobalt or zinc on iron absorption. Based on these findings, it is recommended that ascorbic acid and lactose be added to therapeutic multimineral preparations.