Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nutr. 2008 Mar;138(3):613-9.

The influence and benefits of controlling for inflammation on plasma ferritin and hemoglobin responses following a multi-micronutrient supplement in apparently healthy, HIV+ Kenyan adults.

Author information

Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre for Public Health Research, Nairobi, 00202 Kenya.


Hemoglobin and ferritin are important biomarkers of iron status but are both altered by inflammation. We used the inflammation biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and alpha1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) to adjust hemoglobin and ferritin concentrations to clarify interpretation of iron status. Apparently healthy adults who tested positive twice for HIV but who had not reached stage IV or clinical AIDS were randomly allocated to receive a food supplement (n = 17 and 21) or the food plus a micronutrient capsule (MN; 10 men and 34 women, respectively) containing 30 mg iron/d. Hemoglobin, ferritin, CRP, and AGP concentrations were measured at baseline and 3 mo and subjects were divided into 4 groups (reference, no inflammation; incubating, raised CRP; early convalescence, raised AGP and CRP; and late convalescence, raised AGP). Correction factors (the ratios of the median for the reference group over each inflammatory group) improved the consistency of the ferritin but not the hemoglobin results. After correction, ferritin (but not hemoglobin) increased in both men (48 microg/L; P = 0.02) and women (12 microg/L; P = 0.04) who received MN but not in the food-only group. However, hemoglobin did improve in subjects who showed no inflammation both at baseline and mo 3 (P = 0.019), but ferritin did not increase in this group. In conclusion, ferritin concentrations were more closely linked to current inflammation than hemoglobin; hence, correction by inflammation biomarkers improved data consistency. However, low hemoglobin concentrations were the consequence of long-term chronic inflammation and improvements in response to MN supplements were only detected in subjects with no inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center