Intrinsic Labeling of Plants for Bioavailability Studies

  • Janet A. Novotny
  • Steven Britz
  • Frances Caulfield
  • Gary Beecher
  • Beverly Clevidence
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 537)


Fruits and vegetables are dietary components which convey numerous health benefits. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain many essential nutrients, but they also contribute to disease prevention. In the last decade, nutrition research has made great strides in identifying specific nutrients which have beneficial health effects and the mechanisms by which those health benefits are achieved. However, the ability of a specific nutrient to impart health benefits depends on the gastrointestinal tract’s ability to extract the nutrient from the plant material. The presence of a specific nutrient in a plant food is insufficient for providing health benefits if the bioavailability of that nutrient is very low. For example, spinach contains a high calcium content, but the presence of phytates and oxalates in spinach prevents the calcium from being absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (Weaver et al., 1987; Heaney and Weaver, 1989; Peterson et al., 1992). Thus, calcium has a very low bioavailability from spinach.


Bioavailability Study Carbon Site Isotopomer Distribution Nutrient Bioavailability Stem Injection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet A. Novotny
    • 1
  • Steven Britz
    • 1
  • Frances Caulfield
    • 1
  • Gary Beecher
    • 1
  • Beverly Clevidence
    • 1
  1. 1.Beltsville Human Nutrition Research CenterUSDA, BHNCR, DHPLBeltsville

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