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Nutrient intake and iron status of Australian male vegetarians


Wilson, A and Ball, MJ, Nutrient intake and iron status of Australian male vegetarians, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53, (3) pp. 189-194. ISSN 0954-3007 (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600696


Objective: The study was designed to investigate the iron intake and status of Australian, male vegetarians aged between 20 and 50 y. Design: Cross-sectional comparison of male vegetarians and age/sex matched omnivores. Setting: Free-living community subjects. Subjects: 39 ovolactovegetarians, 10 vegans and 25 omnivores were recruited by local advertisement. Outcome measures: A 12-d semiquantitative dietary record to assess iron and zinc intake. Iron status was assessed by measurement of serum ferritin and haemoglobin concentrations. Results: Mean (s.d.) daily iron intakes of both the ovolactovegetarians (20.4 (7.7) mg/d) and vegans (22.9 (6.2) mg/d), were significantly higher than the omnivores' intake of 15.8 (4.5) mg/d. Ovo-lactovegetarians and vegans had significantly (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively) lower serum ferritin concentrations than omnivores: mean (s.d.): 64 (46.9), 65 (49.9) and 121 (72.5) ng/ml, respectively. Significantly more ovolactovegetarians and vegans than omnivores had serum ferritin concentrations below 25 ng/ml and below 12 ng/ml (P < 0.05). A higher proportion of omnivores had concentrations above 200 ng/ml (P < 0.05). The differences in serum fenilin concentrations between the vegetarians and omnivores remained significant even after exclusion of iron supplement users. Conclusion: Australian male vegetarians had iron intakes higher than those of omnivores and above recommended levels, but their iron status was significantly lower.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Medical physiology
Research Field:Medical physiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ball, MJ (Professor Madeleine Ball)
ID Code:21415
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2001-11-23
Last Modified:2011-08-05

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