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      Preventing Iron Deficiency Through Food Fortification

      Nutrition Reviews

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          One way to prevent iron deficiency anemia in developing countries is through the fortification of food products with iron. In addition to avoiding undesirable color and flavor changes, the main challenge is to protect the fortification iron from potential inhibitors of iron absorption present in commonly fortified foods.

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          Most cited references 63

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          High stored iron levels are associated with excess risk of myocardial infarction in eastern Finnish men.

          Iron can induce lipid peroxidation in vitro and in vivo in humans and has promoted ischemic myocardial injury in experimental animals. We tested the hypothesis that high serum ferritin concentration and high dietary iron intake are associated with an excess risk of acute myocardial infarction. Randomly selected men (n = 1,931), aged 42, 48, 54, or 60 years, who had no symptomatic coronary heart disease at entry, were examined in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) in Eastern Finland between 1984 and 1989. Fifty-one of these men experienced an acute myocardial infarction during an average follow-up of 3 years. On the basis of a Cox proportional hazards model adjusting for age, examination year, cigarette pack-years, ischemic ECG in exercise test, maximal oxygen uptake, systolic blood pressure, blood glucose, serum copper, blood leukocyte count, and serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and triglyceride concentrations, men with serum ferritin greater than or equal to 200 micrograms/l had a 2.2-fold (95% CI, 1.2-4.0; p less than 0.01) risk factor-adjusted risk of acute myocardial infarction compared with men with a lower serum ferritin. An elevated serum ferritin was a strong risk factor for acute myocardial infarction in all multivariate models. This association was stronger in men with serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration of 5.0 mmol/l (193 mg/dl) or more than in others. Also, dietary iron intake had a significant association with the disease risk in a Cox model with the same covariates. Our data suggest that a high stored iron level, as assessed by elevated serum ferritin concentration, is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
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            Body iron stores and the risk of cancer.

            Because of evidence that increased body iron stores are associated with an increased risk of cancer, we examined iron status and cancer risk in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a survey of more than 14,000 adults begun in 1971, with follow-up between 1981 and 1984. Among 242 men in whom cancer developed, the mean total iron-binding capacity was significantly lower (61.4 vs. 62.9 mumol per liter; P = 0.01) and transferrin saturation was significantly higher (33.1 vs. 30.7 percent; P = 0.002) than among 3113 men who remained free of cancer. The risk of cancer in men in each quartile of transferrin-saturation level relative to the lowest quartile was 1.00, 1.01, 1.10, and 1.37 (P = 0.02 for trend). The serum albumin level was significantly lower in men in whom cancer developed than in those who remained cancer-free. Among women, those in whom cancer developed did not have significantly lower total iron-binding capacity or higher transferrin saturation than those who remained cancer-free. However, a post hoc examination of 5367 women (203 with cancer) yielded a relative risk of 1.3 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.9 to 1.9) associated with a very high transferrin saturation (greater than or equal to 36.8 percent, a value in the highest quartile among men); in 5228 women with at least six years of follow-up (149 with cancer), the relative risk associated with transferrin saturation above this level was 1.5 (1.0 to 2.2). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that high body iron stores increase the risk of cancer in men. The possibility that a similar association exists in women requires further study.
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              Soy protein, phytate, and iron absorption in humans.

              The effect of reducing the phytate in soy-protein isolates on nonheme-iron absorption was examined in 32 human subjects. Iron absorption was measured by using an extrinsic radioiron label in liquid-formula meals containing hydrolyzed corn starch, corn oil, and either egg white or one of a series of soy-protein isolates with different phytate contents. Iron absorption increased four- to fivefold when phytic acid was reduced from its native amount of 4.9-8.4 to less than 0.01 mg/g of isolate. Even relatively small quantities of residual phytate were strongly inhibitory and phytic acid had to be reduced to less than 0.3 mg/g of isolate (corresponding to less than 10 mg phytic acid/meal) before a meaningful increase in iron absorption was observed. However, even after removal of virtually all the phytic acid, iron absorption from the soy-protein meal was still only half that of the egg white control. It is concluded that phytic acid is a major inhibitory factor of iron absorption in soy-protein isolates but that other factors contribute to the poor bioavailability of iron from these products.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nutrition Reviews
                Wiley
                00296643
                17534887
                June 1997
                April 27 2009
                : 55
                : 6
                : 210-222
                10.1111/j.1753-4887.1997.tb01608.x
                9279057
                © 2009

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