Iron absorption from legumes in humans

Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Jul;40(1):42-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/40.1.42.


Iron bioavailability in a variety of legumes was determined by radioisotopic measurements of iron absorption in human subjects. Soybeans, black beans, lentils, mung beans, and split peas were prepared as soups, labeled by the extrinsic tag method, and served to fasting subjects. Mean percentage absorption was uniformly low, ranging from 0.84 to 1.91%. Differences in absorption between the means were not statistically significant. The results indicate that these five commonly eaten legumes are all poor sources of dietary iron.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biological Availability
  • Fabaceae / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nutritive Value
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Iron