Table of Contents
ISRN Nutrition
Volume 2013, Article ID 270580, 8 pages
Research Article

Bioavailability of Oil-Based and β-Lactoglobulin-Complexed Vitamin A in a Rat Model

Interdepartmental Program in Nutrition, Department of Food Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Received 1 December 2012; Accepted 3 January 2013

Academic Editors: P. Crenn and F. Nassir

Copyright © 2013 Ying Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


β-Lactoglobulin is capable of binding fat-soluble compounds including vitamin A palmitate and is suggested to specifically enhance intestinal uptake of retinol. In this study, bioavailability of a vitamin-A-retinyl palmitate complex in skim milk and in water-based liquids was investigated in vitamin-A-depleted rats. First, rats were fed a vitamin-A-free pellet diet for 6 wk and were thereafter gavage-fed with vitamin A in oil, vitamin-A-β-lactoglobulin complex, vitamin A in oil + skim milk, and vitamin-A-β-lactoglobulin + skim milk for 2 wk and 42 wk. Vitamin A repletion, as judged by vitamin A accumulation in serum and liver, occurred in all the treatments. Vitamin-A-β-lactoglobulin complex treatments had statistical equivalence with oil-based vitamin A treatments. In a second experiment, vitamin-A-depleted rats were fed UHT-processed skim milk fortified with either oil-based or freeze-dried β-lactoglobulin-complexed retinyl palmitate. Liver and serum vitamin A were analyzed by HPLC to indicate vitamin A status in the rats. Results showed no significant difference in bioavailability of retinyl palmitate from milk made with either regular oil-based or β-lactoglobulin-complexed fortifiers. The vitamin-A-β-lactoglobulin complex, being water soluble, may be useful for fortification of nonfat products.