Bioavailability Enhancers and Inhibitors

Various food substances have been identified that act as enhancers or inhibitors of divalent mineral absorption. In general, these food factors influence nutrient bioavailability by either forming relatively insoluble complexes with nutrients or preventing them from interacting with their respective nutrient transporter, or by protecting the nutrient from such untoward interaction maintaining it in a state that can be absorbed or as an absorbable chelated complex (e.g., heme iron).

A list of factors known to influence mineral bio-availability is given in Table 1.

Table 1 Dietary enhancers and inhibitors of mineral bioavailability



Ascorbic acid

Polyphenols (especially galloyl groups)

Organic acids

Phytic acid

Meat factor



Chlorogenic acid (coffee)


Insoluble dietary fiber

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