Intestinal transport of zinc and folic acid: A mutual inhibitory effect

Fayez K Ghishan, H. M. Said, P. C. Wilson, J. E. Murrell, H. L. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Recent observations suggest an inverse relationship between folic acid intake and zinc nutriture and indicate an interaction between folic acid and zinc at the intestinal level. To define that interaction, we designed in vivo and in vitro transport studies in which folic acid transport in the presence of zinc, as well as zinc transport in the presence of folic acid was examined. These studies show that zinc transport is significantly decreased when folate is present in the intestinal lumen. Similarly folic acid transport is significantly decreased with the presence of zinc. To determine whether this intestinal inhibition is secondary to zinc and folate-forming complexes, charcoal-binding studies were performed. These studies indicate that zinc and folate form complexes at pH 2.0, but that at pH 6.0, these complexes dissolve. Therefore, our studies suggest that under normal physiological conditions a mutual inhibition between folate and zinc exists at the site of intestinal transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Ghishan, F. K., Said, H. M., Wilson, P. C., Murrell, J. E., & Greene, H. L. (1986). Intestinal transport of zinc and folic acid: A mutual inhibitory effect. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 43(2), 258-262.