Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2003
Publication Date: 3/23/2004
Citation: Swain, J.H., Johnson, L.K., Hunt, J.R. 2004. Combating iron deficiency: bioavailability of iron from two elemental iron powders and a heme iron supplement in humans [abstract]. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 18:A155.
Technical Abstract: We determined the bioavailability of iron from heme, electrolytic, and reduced iron sources for improving body iron in humans, relative to placebo or ferrous sulfate (FeSO4). In a randomized, blinded, controlled efficacy trial, 52 premenopausal women with moderate to low iron stores received: a) placebo; b) 5 mg iron as heme iron (VitaHeme, USA); or 50 mg iron as c) electrolytic iron (A-131, USA); d) reduced iron (ATOMET 95SP, Canada); or e) bakery-grade FeSO4 (FeSO4 H2O, USA). The heme iron was given in 2 capsules/d and the other sources in 3 wheat rolls/d, provided for 12 wk. The change in body iron was assessed from the serum transferrin receptor/serum ferritin ratio (JD Cook. Blood 101:3359, 2003), which detected the treatment differences more sensitively than several other indexes of iron status. Body iron (mg/kg body wt) increased with all four iron sources (LSM±SEM): FeSO4 (2.0±0.5, p<0.004), electrolytic (1.7±0.5, p<0.008), reduced (1.0±0.4, p<0.03), and heme (1.0±0.4, p<0.04), but not with placebo (0.1±0.3, NS). The results indicate that the reduced and electrolytic iron sources were approximately 50 and 85% as effective as FeSO4 and that 5 mg iron in the heme form was half as effective as 50 mg of FeSO4 for improving body iron in humans. Funded by USDA-CREES grant 2002-35200-12222, with heme iron supplements from Proliant and iron fortification sources from SUSTAIN.