Long-Term Consequences of Iron-Fortified Flour Consumption in Nonanemic Men

Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences

Volume 2 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Background/Aims: Despite the advantages of fortifying flour with iron, there are still special concerns regarding the possible adverse effects of the extra iron consumed by nonanemic individuals. This study aimed to investigate the oxidative stress and iron status following 8 and 16 months of consumption of iron-fortified flour in nonanemic men. Methods: In a before-and-after intervention study, 78 nonanemic apparently healthy 40- to 65-year-old men were randomly selected from Semnan, in the northeast of Iran. Data were collected at three time points. Evaluation of oxidative stress biomarkers as well as the assessment of iron status was performed in all three stages. After baseline data collection, the flour fortification program was started with 30 mg/kg iron as ferrous sulfate. Results: After 16 months, serum iron levels had significantly increased from 102.9 +/- 31.5 mu g/dl (baseline) to 117.2 +/- 29.8 mu g/dl (p < 0.001). The mean total antioxidant capacity (1.71 +/- 0.10 mu M) was significantly lower than that at baseline (1.83 +/- 0.17 mu M; p < 0.01). Among other oxidative stress biomarkers, only superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity increased significantly compared to the beginning of the study (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). The results of this study did not show any symptoms of iron overload after 8 and 16 months. Conclusions: Our data did not support the safety of flour fortification with 30 mg/kg iron as ferrous sulfate as a community-based approach to control iron deficiency in nonanemic healthy men. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel