Published Papers - Abstract 66

Patterson AJ, Brown WJ, Roberts DCK & Seldon MR. Dietary treatment of iron deficiency in women of childbearing age. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001; 74: 650-656

Background: The Australian Iron Status Advisory Panel advocates the use of dietary intervention as the first treatment option in mild cases of iron deficiency (serum ferritin 10-15ug/L). However, there appear to be no studies examining the efficacy of dietary treatment of iron deficiency.Objective: To compare the effects of iron supplementation and a high iron diet on serum ferritin (SF) and haemoglobin (Hb) in iron deficient women of childbearing age.Design: 44 iron deficient (SF<15>g/L or SF 15-20g/L, plus two of: serum iron <10 >mol/L; total iron binding capacity >68 >mol/L; or transferrin saturation <15%) and 22 iron replete (Hb > 120g/L and SF >20>g/L) women, matched for age and parity categories, had iron studies performed and completed 7 day weighed food records (T0). Iron deficient women were randomly allocated to either iron supplementation (105mg/d) or a high iron diet (recommended intake of absorbable iron 2.25mg/d) for 12 weeks. Haematological and dietary assessments were repeated at the end of the intervention phase (T1) and again after a 6 month non-intervention phase (T2).Results: Mean SF for the supplement group increased from 9.0,3.1>g/L to 24.8>10.0>g/L during the intervention phase and remained stable during the non-intervention phase (24.2,8.8>g/L), while increases in SF for the diet group were smaller during the intervention phase (8.9,3.1>g/L to 11.0>5.9>g/L), and continued to improve during the non-intervention phase to 15.2,9.5>g/L. Mean Hb improved similarly for both intervention groups but the change was only significant for the supplement group [Supplement: T0=125.2,9.1mg/L, T1=130.4,6.8mg/L, T2=131.4,6.6mg/L; Diet: T0=127.6,8.5mg/L, T1=130.6,7.1mg/L, T2=130.8,6.9mg/L]. Conclusions: A high iron diet produced small increases in SF and Hb relative to iron supplementation for iron deficient women of childbearing age during a 12 week intervention, but resulted in continued improvements in iron status during a 6 month non-intervention phase.

Open Access Article