This study examined whether iron accumulated in ferritin-producing recombinant microbes is bioavailable to rats with iron deficiency. Rats induced with iron deficiency were treated with iron preparations of ferrous ammonium sulfate, horse spleen ferritin, control yeast, and ferritin-producing recombinant yeast for 14 d. The bioavailability of iron was examined by measuring hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit value, and tissue iron stores. Differences between dietary groups were determined by one-way analysis of variance, and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Based on hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit value, iron in ferrous ammonium sulfate, horse spleen ferritin, and ferritin-producing yeast were bioavailable to rats and cured iron deficiency. The efficacy of ferritin and ferritin-producing yeast was also confirmed in establishing tissue iron stores after induction of iron deficiency. The iron sources of ferritin and ferritin-producing yeast were as effective in recovery from iron deficiency as the iron compounds of ferric citrate and ferrous ammonium sulfate. The results suggest that the iron stored in the ferritin of recombinant yeast is bioavailable, and that recombinant yeast may contribute widely as a source of iron to resolve the global problem of iron deficiency.