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The Bioavailability of Iron, Zinc, Protein and Vitamin A Is Highly Variable in French Individual Diets: Impact on Nutrient Inadequacy Assessment and Relation With the Animal-To-Plant Ratio of Diets

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The Bioavailability of Iron, Zinc, Protein and Vitamin A Is Highly Variable in French Individual Diets: Impact on Nutrient Inadequacy Assessment and Relation With the Animal-To-Plant Ratio of Diets

Marlène Perignon et al. Food Chem.

Abstract

Nutritional adequacy depends on nutrient intakes and bioavailability which strongly varies with the plant- or animal-origin of foods. The aim was to estimate iron, zinc, protein and vitamin A bioavailability from individual diets, and investigate its relation with the animal-to-plant ratio (A/P) of diets. Bioavailability was estimated in 1899 French diets using diet-based algorithms or food-group specific conversion factors. Nutrient inadequacy was estimated based on i) bioavailability calculated in each individual diet and ii) average bioavailability assumed for Western-diets. Mean iron absorption, zinc absorption, protein quality and β-carotene conversion factor were 13%, 30%, 92%, and 17:1, respectively. Bioavailability displayed a high variability between individual diets, poorly explained by their A/P. Using individual bioavailability led to different inadequacy prevalence than with average factors assumed for Western-diets. In this population, the A/P does not seem sufficient to predict nutrient bioavailability and the corresponding recommended intakes. Nutritional adequacy should be assessed using bioavailability accounting for individual diets composition.

Keywords: Absorption; Animal-vegetable; Carotenoids; Food security; Nutrient inadequate intake; Nutritional recommendations; Protein digestibility corrected amino acid score; Sustainability.

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