Dietary strategies for improving iron status: Balancing safety and efficacy

Andrew M. Prentice, Yery A. Mendoza, Dora Pereira, Carla Cerami, Rita Wegmuller, Anne Constable, Jorg Spieldenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In light of evidence that high-dose iron supplements lead to a range of adverse events in low-income settings, the safety and efficacy of lower doses of iron provided through biological or industrial fortification of foodstuffs is reviewed. First, strategies for point-of-manufacture chemical fortification are compared with biofortification achieved through plant breeding. Recent insights into the mechanisms of human iron absorption and regulation, the mechanisms by which iron can promote malaria and bacterial infections, and the role of iron in modifying the gut micro- biota are summarized. There is strong evidence that supplemental iron given in nonphysiological amounts can increase the risk of bacterial and protozoal infections (especially malaria), but the use of lower quantities of iron provided within a food matrix, ie, fortified food, should be safer in most cases and represents a more logical strategy for a sustained reduction of the risk of deficiency by providing the best balance of risk and benefits. Further research into iron compounds that would minimize the availability of unabsorbed iron to the gut microbiota is warranted.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages49-60
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition reviews
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Iron
Safety
Bacterial Infections
Malaria
Iron Compounds
Fortified Food
Biota
Risk Reduction Behavior
Food
Research

Keywords

  • Food fortification
  • Iron
  • Safety
  • Staple foods
  • Supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Prentice, A. M., Mendoza, Y. A., Pereira, D., Cerami, C., Wegmuller, R., Constable, A., & Spieldenner, J. (2017). Dietary strategies for improving iron status: Balancing safety and efficacy. Nutrition reviews, 75(1), 49-60. DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw055

Dietary strategies for improving iron status : Balancing safety and efficacy. / Prentice, Andrew M.; Mendoza, Yery A.; Pereira, Dora; Cerami, Carla; Wegmuller, Rita; Constable, Anne; Spieldenner, Jorg.

In: Nutrition reviews, Vol. 75, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 49-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Prentice, AM, Mendoza, YA, Pereira, D, Cerami, C, Wegmuller, R, Constable, A & Spieldenner, J 2017, 'Dietary strategies for improving iron status: Balancing safety and efficacy' Nutrition reviews, vol 75, no. 1, pp. 49-60. DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw055
Prentice AM, Mendoza YA, Pereira D, Cerami C, Wegmuller R, Constable A et al. Dietary strategies for improving iron status: Balancing safety and efficacy. Nutrition reviews. 2017 Jan 1;75(1):49-60. Available from, DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw055
Prentice, Andrew M. ; Mendoza, Yery A. ; Pereira, Dora ; Cerami, Carla ; Wegmuller, Rita ; Constable, Anne ; Spieldenner, Jorg. / Dietary strategies for improving iron status : Balancing safety and efficacy. In: Nutrition reviews. 2017 ; Vol. 75, No. 1. pp. 49-60
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