Scientific research has been conducted on the absorption of nutrients provided by both food groups when combined. From a nutritional point of view, the absorption of both
iron could have the former prevent the absorption of the latter.
In single-meal human absorption studies, both haem- and non-haem-Fe absorption was inhibited by Ca supplements and by dairy products, the effect depending on the simultaneous presence of Ca and Fe in the lumen of the upper small intestine and also occurring when Ca and Fe were given in the fasting state. The quantitative effect, although dose dependent, was modified by the form in which Ca was administered and by other dietary constituents (such as phosphate, phytate and ascorbic acid) known to affect Fe bioavailability.
The results of most multiple-meal human studies suggest that Ca supplementation will have only a small effect on Fe absorption unless habitual Ca consumption is very low. Outcome analyses showed that Ca supplements had no effect on Fe status in infants fed Fe-fortified formula, lactating women, adolescent girls and adult men and women. However it should be noted that the subjects studied had adequate intakes of bioavailable Fe and, except in one study, had relatively high habitual Ca intakes.