Iron status in association with cardiovascular disease risk in 3 controlled feeding studies

Jessica L. Derstine, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, Shaomei Yu-Poth, Rebecca L. Hargrove, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, John L. Beard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The role of body iron stores in free radical-induced peroxidation and cardiovascular disease risk has been debated, but controlled feeding studies using measurements of non-transferrin-bound iron (NTBI) and LDL oxidation have not been conducted. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that NTBI and other measures of iron status do not affect oxidative susceptibility in healthy subjects with normal iron status. Design: Plasma samples were analyzed from 77 healthy men and women aged 20-65 y who participated in 3 controlled feeding studies in which the type and amount of dietary fat were controlled. Iron status and in vitro LDL oxidation were assessed at baseline and at the end of each feeding period (4-8 wk). Results: No significant relations were found between any measure of iron status (ferritin: 83 ± 8.9 μg/L; iron: 20.9 ± 5.4 μmol/L; TIBC: 74.4 ± 11.0 μmol/L; NTBI: 0.184 ± 0.15 μmol/L) and the in vitro measures of LDL oxidation (total dienes: 485 ± 55 μmol/mg LDL protein; lag time: 51.7 ± 15.9 min; and rate of oxidation: 25.4 ± 6.8 μmol dienes · min-1 · g LDL protein-1). Equal-iron peanut butter-based diets were associated with higher plasma iron in men (22.4 ± 3.8 μmol/L) than was the olive oil diet (17.7 ± 4.5 μmol/ L) (P=0.02), but this slight elevation did not alter LDL oxidation. Conclusions: Diet composition may affect plasma iron in men, but LDL oxidative susceptibility is unaffected by the subtle variation in iron status. Thus, the results do not support a relation between iron status and LDL oxidative susceptibility, a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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