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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012 Mar;63(2):199-207. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.618119. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Can an iron-rich staple food help women to achieve dietary targets in pregnancy?

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1
Hollings Faculty, Centre of Food, Nutrition and Health Research, Manchester Metropolitan University, Old Hall Lane, Manchester M14 6HR, UK.

Abstract

Habitual iron intakes during pregnancy are typically lower than dietary guidelines, a risk for iron deficiency. The aim of this study was to determine whether regular consumption of bread naturally rich in iron could help women to achieve dietary targets. Thirty-three primiparous mothers were randomized to eat 3-4 slices of iron-rich or control bread daily for 6 weeks. Two 24-h-prompted (multiple-pass) dietary recalls were completed, and validated algorithms were used to determine the amount of 'available iron' from the diet. Regular consumption of iron-rich bread helped pregnant women to achieve UK dietary recommendations; the quantity of bread consumed by the participants contributed 27% versus 9% UK Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) (14.8 mg/d) in the intervention versus the control group. Levels of total 'available iron' were similar in both groups and correlated positively with total dietary iron (r = 0.78, P = 0.0001), vitamin C (r = 0.43, P = 0.017) and non-haem iron (r = 0.77, P = 0.0001). Findings from this study show that iron-rich staple foods can help women reach dietary targets for iron. This is an area of great potential that could be of particular benefit to low-income/ethnically diverse population groups who have some of the lowest iron intakes. Further research using fortified staple foods containing higher levels of iron is now warranted to establish physiological benefits.

PMID:
21942813
DOI:
10.3109/09637486.2011.618119
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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