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Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 89; doi:10.3390/nu8020089

Is Higher Consumption of Animal Flesh Foods Associated with Better Iron Status among Adults in Developed Countries? A Systematic Review

1
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3
Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
4
Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [460 KB, uploaded 16 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

Iron deficiency (ID) is the most prevalent nutrient deficiency within the developed world. This is of concern as ID has been shown to affect immunity, thermoregulation, work performance and cognition. Animal flesh foods provide the richest and most bioavailable source of dietary (haem) iron, however, it is unclear whether low animal flesh diets contribute to ID. This systematic review aimed to investigate whether a higher consumption of animal flesh foods is associated with better iron status in adults. CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE and MEDLINE were searched for published studies that included adults (≥18 years) from developed countries and measured flesh intakes in relation to iron status indices. Eight experimental and 41 observational studies met the inclusion criteria. Generally, studies varied in population and study designs and results were conflicting. Of the seven high quality studies, five showed a positive association between animal flesh intake (85–300 g/day) and iron status. However, the optimum quantity or frequency of flesh intake required to maintain or achieve a healthy iron status remains unclear. Results show a promising relationship between animal flesh intake and iron status, however, additional longitudinal and experimental studies are required to confirm this relationship and determine optimal intakes to reduce ID development. View Full-Text
Keywords: systematic review; animal flesh; iron status; adults; developed countries systematic review; animal flesh; iron status; adults; developed countries
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jackson, J.; Williams, R.; McEvoy, M.; MacDonald-Wicks, L.; Patterson, A. Is Higher Consumption of Animal Flesh Foods Associated with Better Iron Status among Adults in Developed Countries? A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2016, 8, 89.

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