Iron is an essential micronutrient for human health and inadequate intake may result in iron deficiency (ID) or iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). Unlike other recent studies investigating iron status in young women, this cross-sectional study analysed dietary intake and biochemical data from healthy young (18-35 years) women (n = 299) to determine the association between both haem iron (HI) and non-haem iron (NHI) intakes and serum ferritin (SF). Dietary restraint and possible inflammation secondary to obesity were also measured and accounted for, and energy intake was adjusted for using the residuals method. Independent samples t-tests and chi-squared tests were performed, and factors found to be significantly different between iron replete (IR) and ID/IDA participants were analysed using general linear modelling. ID/IDA participants consumed significantly lower total energy than iron replete (IR) (p = 0.003). Lower energy intake was also associated with higher levels of dietary restraint (p = 0.001). Both HI and NHI were positively associated with SF with HI was found to be a stronger predictor (β = 0.128, p = 0.009) than NHI (β = 0.037, p = 0.028). The study demonstrates that intake of both HI and NHI, as well as adequate dietary energy, are associated with normal iron status levels in young women, and that restrained eaters may be at greater risk of low iron status.
Young, I., Parker, H. M., Rangan, A., Prvan, T., Cook, R. L., Donges, C. E., Steinbeck, K. S., O’Dwyer, N. J., Cheng, H. L., Franklin, J. L., & O’Connor, H. T. (2018). Association between haem and non-haem iron intake and serum Ferritin in healthy young women. Nutrients, 10(1), 1-13. . https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10010081