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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Nov;68(11):1250-2. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.82. Epub 2014 May 7.

A candidate gene approach for identifying differential iron responses in young overweight women to an energy-restricted haem iron-rich diet.

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  • 1Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.
  • 2School of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.
  • 3Academic Department of Adolescent Medicine, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.


Although iron deficiency is common in women especially during dieting, weight management trials rarely examine the longitudinal impact of genetics on iron. This study examined the associations between the TMPRSS6 rs855791 polymorphism and iron indices at baseline and after a 12-month trial comparing two weight loss diets (higher-protein, higher-haem iron (HPHI) vs lower-protein, lower-haem iron (LPLI)). A total of 76 young overweight women (18-25y; BMI⩾27.5 kg/m(2)) were included at baseline, with 27 (HPHI: n=15; LPLI: n=12) completing the 12-month trial. At baseline, C allele homozygotes exhibited higher serum iron (P=0.047) and lower hepcidin (P=0.023) compared with T allele carriers. After 12 months, no genotypic differences were observed for ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor, although C homozygotes on HPHI showed higher serum iron and transferrin saturation (P<0.05). Results indicate that rs855791 can influence iron metabolism to some extent, but its impact on storage and functional iron status is small relative to dietary protein/iron manipulation.

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