Impact of menstrual blood loss and diet on iron deficiency among women in the UK

Linda J Harvey, Charlotte N Armah, Jack R Dainty, Robert J Foxall, D John Lewis, Nicola J Langford, Susan J Fairweather-Tait

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162 Citations (Scopus)


Women of childbearing age are at risk of Fe deficiency if insufficient dietary Fe is available to replace menstrual and other Fe losses. Haem Fe represents 10-15 % of dietary Fe intake in meat-rich diets but may contribute 40 % of the total absorbed Fe. The aim of the present study was to determine the relative effects of type of diet and menstrual Fe loss on Fe status in women. Ninety healthy premenopausal women were recruited according to their habitual diet: red meat, poultry/fish or lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Intake of Fe was determined by analysing 7 d duplicate diets, and menstrual Fe loss was measured using the alkaline haematin method. A substantial proportion of women (60 % red meat, 40 % lacto-ovo-vegetarian, 20 % poultry/fish) had low Fe stores (serum ferritin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Iron-Deficiency Anemia
  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Diet, Vegetarian
  • Female
  • Ferritins
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Dietary Iron
  • Linear Models
  • Menstruation
  • Nutritional Status
  • Poultry

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