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Nutrients 2014, 6(1), 90-110; doi:10.3390/nu6010090
Article

Improvements in Iron Status and Cognitive Function in Young Women Consuming Beef or Non-Beef Lunches

Received: 30 October 2013; in revised form: 14 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 27 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Neuroscience)
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Abstract: Iron status is associated with cognitive performance and intervention trials show that iron supplementation improves mental function in iron-deficient adults. However, no studies have tested the efficacy of naturally iron-rich food in this context. This investigation measured the hematologic and cognitive responses to moderate beef consumption in young women. Participants (n = 43; age 21.1 ± 0.4 years) were randomly assigned to a beef or non-beef protein lunch group [3-oz (85 g), 3 times weekly] for 16 weeks. Blood was sampled at baseline, and weeks 8 and 16, and cognitive performance was measured at baseline and week 16. Body iron increased in both lunch groups (p < 0.0001), with greater improvement demonstrated in women with lower baseline body iron (p < 0.0001). Body iron had significant beneficial effects on spatial working memory and planning speed (p < 0.05), and ferritin responders (n = 17) vs. non-responders (n = 26) showed significantly greater improvements in planning speed, spatial working memory strategy, and attention (p < 0.05). Lunch group had neither significant interactions with iron status nor consistent main effects on test performance. These findings support a relationship between iron status and cognition, but do not show a particular benefit of beef over non-beef protein consumption on either measure in young women.
Keywords: body iron; cognition; women; beef body iron; cognition; women; beef
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Blanton, C. Improvements in Iron Status and Cognitive Function in Young Women Consuming Beef or Non-Beef Lunches. Nutrients 2014, 6, 90-110.

AMA Style

Blanton C. Improvements in Iron Status and Cognitive Function in Young Women Consuming Beef or Non-Beef Lunches. Nutrients. 2014; 6(1):90-110.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blanton, Cynthia. 2014. "Improvements in Iron Status and Cognitive Function in Young Women Consuming Beef or Non-Beef Lunches." Nutrients 6, no. 1: 90-110.



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