One of the most promising applications of the X-ray phase-contrast imaging is the three dimensional tomographic reconstruction of the index of refraction. However, results reported so far are limited to relatively small samples. We present here the tomographic reconstruction of the index of refraction distribution of a large biomedical sample (> 10 cm diameter). A quantitative study comparing the absorption and phase contrast (analyzer-based) tomography images shows that the distribution of the index of refraction obtained with the phase contrast method provides a more accurate depiction (3-10 times larger signal to noise ratio values) of the sample internal structure. Thanks to the higher sensitivity of this method, the improved precision was obtained using an incoming photon fluence on the sample several times smaller than in the case of absorption imaging.