Previous studies have suggested that iron repletion may increase the risk of several chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. New findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show that several dietary factors are associated with a risk for high iron stores. The study involved 246 men and 368 women with a mean age of 75 years. As expected, the risk of high iron stores was 4-fold higher among subjects who took supplemental iron than among subjects who did not take supplements. The risk was 3-fold higher among those who ate more than 4 servings of red meat a week and was also increased among subjects who consumed more than 3 servings of fruit or fruit juice daily. In contrast, intake of whole grains more than 7 times weekly substantially lowered the risk of high iron stores, in comparison with intake of refined grains.
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