Dietary factors associated with the risk of high iron stores in the elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort.Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 76(6):1375-84AJ
High body iron stores may increase the risk of several chronic diseases. Whether dietary factors contribute to the risk of high iron stores is unknown.
We assessed the relation between dietary factors and the risk of high iron stores in the elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort.
We examined the relation between the usual intake of dietary factors (food-frequency questionnaire) and the risk of high iron stores (serum ferritin >300 and 200 micro g/L in men and women, respectively) in 614 subjects aged 68-93 y.
The risk of high iron stores was significantly higher 1) in subjects who took > or =30 mg supplemental Fe/d than in nonusers [odds ratio (OR): 4.32; 95% CI: 1.63, 11.47], 2) in subjects who consumed >21 servings of fruit/wk than in those who consumed < or =14 servings/wk (OR: 2.88; 95% CI: 1.26, 6.61), and 3) in subjects who consumed >4 but <7 or > or=7 servings of red meat/wk than in those who consumed < or =4 servings/wk (ORs: 2.94 and 3.61, respectively; 95% CIs: 1.33, 6.47 and 1.57, 8.27, respectively). Whole-grain intake (>7 servings/wk) was inversely associated (OR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.75).
Among elders, intakes of highly bioavailable forms of iron (supplemental iron and red meat) and of fruit, a dietary source of an enhancer of nonheme-iron absorption (vitamin C), promote high iron stores, whereas foods containing phytate (whole grains) decrease these stores. Individual dietary patterns may be important modulators of high iron stores.