A randomized controlled trial in young women of the effects of consuming pork meat or iron Supplements on nutritional status and feeling of well-being

Jennifer O. McArthur, Peter Petocz, Ian D. Caterson, Samir Samman*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: Limited information is available on the role of pork meat in influencing iron status. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of consuming pork meat as compared to iron Supplementation on nutritional status and feeling of well-being. Methods: Young women were randomly assigned to a control diet (CG), a pork-containing diet (PG), or a control diet with iron Supplementation (SG) for 12 weeks. Sixty-five women aged 24.6 ± 4.4 years (mean ± SD) completed the trial. Results: Serum ferritin concentrations were increased significantly (p = 0.001) in participants assigned to the SG as compared with the other groups, as assessed by repeated-measures analysis of variance. At week 12, hemoglobin concentrations were significantly higher in PG and SG as compared with CG. Plasma zinc concentrations at the end of the intervention were similar to baseline concentrations for individuals in the CG and PG but were decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in SG. Plasma-, erythrocyte-folate, and serum vitamin B6 and B12 concentrations were not significantly affected by the intervention, although the concentrations of vitamins B6 and B12 tended to increase in PG. Well-being, as measured using the Health Survey Short Form (SF-36) and its 8 multi-item scales, showed significant improvement in vitality in SG (p < 0.05) and bodily pain in PG (p < 0.05). No significant relationships were observed between these health concept scores and biomarkers of nutritional status. Conclusions: Consumption of pork meat by young women maintains hemoglobin levels to the same extent as low-dose iron Supplementation and enhances the components of well-being, mainly their perception of bodily pain.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-184
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012

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