Estimation of the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn in Chinese vegetables using the in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell model: the influence of gut microbiota
The influence of the human gut microbiota on the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of trace elements in vegetables has barely been studied. An in vitro digestion model combining the physiologically based extraction test (PBET) and the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME) was applied. Results showed that the gut microbiota increased the bioaccessibility of iron (Fe) in ten test vegetables by 1.3–1.8 times, but reduced the bioaccessibility of manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in vegetables in the colon phase by 3.7% to 89.6%, 24.8% to 100.0%, and 59.9% to 100.0%, respectively. Using the Caco-2 cell model to simulate the human absorption process, the bioavailable contents and the bioavailability of the trace elements were further determined. Swamp cabbage was the best source of Fe and Cu; spinach and lettuce provided the highest amounts of bioavailable Mn and Zn, respectively. Referring to the daily reference intakes of trace elements, the obtained data provide a scientific basis for both reasonable ingestion of vegetables in diets and diversification of diets.