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Open AccessArticle

Associations between Dietary Iron and Zinc Intakes, and between Biochemical Iron and Zinc Status in Women

Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Australian Red Cross Blood Service, 17 O'Riordan Street, Alexandria, New South Wales 2015, Australia
University of Technology, Sydney 15 Broadway, Ultimo, New South Wales 2007, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(4), 2983-2999;
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 10 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Zinc and Human Health)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron; zinc; women; minerals; nutritional status iron; zinc; women; minerals; nutritional status
MDPI and ACS Style

Lim, K.; Booth, A.; Szymlek-Gay, E.A.; Gibson, R.S.; Bailey, K.B.; Irving, D.; Nowson, C.; Riddell, L. Associations between Dietary Iron and Zinc Intakes, and between Biochemical Iron and Zinc Status in Women. Nutrients 2015, 7, 2983-2999.

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