Ovotransferrin Supplementation Improves the Iron Absorption: An In Vitro Gastro‐Intestinal Model

Academic Editor: H. P. Vasantha Rupasinghe - Biomedicines 2021, 9, 1543
Rebecca Galla, Paride Grisenti, Mahitab Farghali, Laura Saccuman, Patrizia Ferraboschi and Francesca Uberti

Transferrins constitute the most important iron regulation system in vertebrates and some invertebrates. Soluble transferrins, such as bovine lactoferrin and hen egg-white ovotransferrin, are glycoproteins with a very similar structure with lobes that complex with iron. In this in vitro study, a comparison of bovine lactoferrin and ovotransferrin was undertaken to confirm the comparability of biological effects. An in vitro gastric barrier model using gastric epithelial cells GTL‐16 and an in vitro intestinal barrier model using CaCo‐2 cells was employed to evaluate iron absorption and barrier integrity. An analysis of the molecular pathways involving DMT‐1 (divalent metal transporter 1), ferritin and ferroportin was also carried out. These in vitro data demonstrate the activity of both 15% saturated and 100% saturated ovotransferrin on the iron regulation system. Compared with the commercial bovine lactoferrin, both 15% saturated and 100% saturated ovotransferrin were found to act in a more physiological manner. Based on these data, it is possible to hypothesise that ovotransferrin may be an excellent candidate for iron supplementation in humans; in particular, 15% saturated ovotransferrin is the overall best performing product. In vivo studies should be performed to confirm this in vitro data.

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