Dietary Iron Intake and Iron Status of German Female Vegans: Results of the German Vegan StudyWaldmann A. · Koschizke J.W. · Leitzmann C. · Hahn A.
aInstitute of Food Science, University of Hannover, Hannover, and bInstitute of Nutritional Science, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany
Background: As shown in previous studies vegetarians and especially vegans are at risk for iron deficiency. Our study evaluated the iron status of German female vegans. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the dietary intakes of 75 vegan women were assessed by two 9-day food frequency questionnaires. The iron status was analyzed on the basis of blood parameters. Results: Mean daily iron intake was higher than recommended by the German Nutrition Society. Still 42% of the female vegans <50 years (young women, YW) had a daily iron intake of <18 mg/day, which is the recommended allowance by the US Food and Nutrition Board. The main dietary sources of iron were vegetables, fruits, cereals and cereal products. Median serum ferritin concentrations were 14 ng/ml for YW and 28 ng/ml for women ≧50 years (old women, OW). In all, 40% (tri-index model (TIM) 20%) of the YW and 12% (TIM 12%) of the OW were considered iron-deficient based on either serum ferritin levels of <12 ng/ml or a TIM. Only 3 women had blood parameters which are defined as iron deficiency anemia. Correlations between serum ferritin levels and dietary factors were not found. Conclusion: Although the mean iron intake was above the recommended level, 40% (TIM 20%) of the YW were considered iron-deficient. It is suggested that especially YM on a vegan diet should have their iron status monitored and should consider taking iron supplements in case of a marginal status.
Universität Hannover, Institut für Lebensmittelwissenschaft
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The EDEN Foundation, Bad Soden, Germany, and the Stoll VITA Foundation, Waldshut-Tiengen, Germany, sponsored this study.
Received: May 16, 2003
Accepted: August 13, 2003
Published online: February 25, 2004
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 2, Number of References : 35
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism (European Journal of Nutrition, Metabolic Diseases and Dietetics)
Founded 1959 as ’Nutritio et Dieta‘ by E. Azerad, H. Kapp and J. Trémolières
Official Journal of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS)
Vol. 48, No. 2, Year 2004 (Cover Date: March-April 2004)
Journal Editor: I. Elmadfa, Vienna
ISSN: 0250–6807 (print), 1421–9697 (Online)
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