Iron and zinc are found in similar foods and absorption of both may be affected by food compounds, thus biochemical iron and zinc status may be related. This cross-sectional study aimed to: (1) describe dietary intakes and biochemical status of iron and zinc; (2) investigate associations between dietary iron and zinc intakes; and (3) investigate associations between biochemical iron and zinc status in a sample of premenopausal women aged 18–50 years who were recruited in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Usual dietary intakes were assessed using a 154-item food frequency questionnaire (n
= 379). Iron status was assessed using serum ferritin and hemoglobin, zinc status using serum zinc (standardized to 08:00 collection), and presence of infection/inflammation using C-reactive protein (n
= 326). Associations were explored using multiple regression and logistic regression. Mean (SD) iron and zinc intakes were 10.5 (3.5) mg/day and 9.3 (3.8) mg/day, respectively. Median (interquartile range) serum ferritin was 22 (12–38) μg/L and mean serum zinc concentrations (SD) were 12.6 (1.7) μmol/L in fasting samples and 11.8 (2.0) μmol/L in nonfasting samples. For each 1 mg/day increase in dietary iron intake, zinc intake increased by 0.4 mg/day. Each 1 μmol/L increase in serum zinc corresponded to a 6% increase in serum ferritin, however women with low serum zinc concentration (AM fasting < 10.7 μmol/L; AM nonfasting < 10.1 μmol/L) were not at increased risk of depleted iron stores (serum ferritin <15 μg/L; p
= 0.340). Positive associations were observed between dietary iron and zinc intakes, and between iron and zinc status, however interpreting serum ferritin concentrations was not a useful proxy for estimating the likelihood of low serum zinc concentrations and women with depleted iron stores were not at increased risk of impaired zinc status in this cohort.
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