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Deficiencies of iron and vitamin D are interrelated in women – March 2013

Relationship between vitamin D deficiency, bone remodelling and iron status in iron-deficient young women consuming an iron-fortified food.

Eur J Nutr. 2013 Mar;52(2):695-703. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0375-8. Epub 2012 May 23.
Blanco-Rojo R, Pérez-Granados AM, Toxqui L, Zazo P, de la Piedra C, Vaquero MP.
Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

BACKGROUND:Iron and vitamin D deficiencies are two of the most widespread nutritional disorders in the world. Our aim was to know whether the consumption of an iron-fortified fruit juice modifies bone remodelling and the possible influence of baseline vitamin D status on the recovery of iron status in a group of iron-deficient women.

METHODS:Iron biomarkers, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and dietary intake were measured in 123 iron-deficient menstruating women. A subgroup (n = 41) participated in a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study of 16-weeks during winter. They consumed a placebo fruit juice (P) or iron-fortified fruit juice (F). Dietary intake, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathormone (PTH), bone alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aminoterminal telopeptide of collagen I (NTX) and iron biomarkers were determined.

RESULTS:Ninety-two per cent of the iron-deficient women were vitamin D deficient or insufficient. Transferrin saturation and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were positively correlated. Iron status improved in F, 25-hydroxyvitamin D decreased in F and P, and PTH, ALP and NTX levels were within the normal range and did not vary. Women with 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≥ 50 nmol/L compared with 25-hydroxyvitamin D < 50 nmol/L showed a higher increase in transferrin saturation (a marker of iron supply to tissues) during iron recovery.

CONCLUSION:The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is very high in iron-deficient women. The recovery of iron status by consuming an iron-fortified food does not affect 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels; however, the increase in iron supply to tissues is lower if the women also present vitamin D deficiency. Although bone health does not seem to be affected in this group of women, correction of iron and vitamin D deficiencies should be promoted in young women to improve present and future health.

PMID: 22618893
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