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Journal cover: Nutrition & Food Science

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Online from: 1971

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Assessment of daily iron intake for the Pakistani population


Document Information:
Title:Assessment of daily iron intake for the Pakistani population
Author(s):P. Akhter, (Health Physics Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH), P.O. Nilore, Islamabad – Pakistan), D. Mohammad, (Health Physics Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH), P.O. Nilore, Islamabad – Pakistan), S.D. Orfi, (Health Physics Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH), P.O. Nilore, Islamabad – Pakistan), N. Ahmad, (Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Nilore, Islamabad – Pakistan), K. Rehman, (Department of Physics, University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore-Pakistan)
Citation:P. Akhter, D. Mohammad, S.D. Orfi, N. Ahmad, K. Rehman, (2005) "Assessment of daily iron intake for the Pakistani population", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 35 Iss: 2, pp.109 - 117
Keywords:Diet, Iron, Nutrition, Pakistan
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/00346650510585895 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – Iron deficiency is the number one nutritional disorder in the world and is quite common in Pakistan. Iron deficiency anaemia may result from a low dietary intake, inadequate intestinal absorption, excessive blood loss, and/or increased needs. While iron overload is also responsible of number of diseases. The normal iron status of our body is usually maintained by controlling amount of iron absorbed from food. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult male and female in the age from 19 to 50 years is 8 and 18mg, respectively. While RDA above 50 years is it for both genders i.e. 8mg (NIH, 2002). Nutritional status of dietary iron was estimated to combat the iron related diseases in Pakistani population.

Design/methodology/approach – Food samples were collected from major cities/districts of the country using market basket method. Daily diets were prepared and analyzed for iron contents using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS).

Findings – An average value of iron concentration was measured to be 52±15µg/g, which leads to an average daily dietary intake of 31±9.5mg/d, with a variation of 12 to 52mg/d. The estimated values of our daily iron intake are about 2 times higher than the recommended daily allowance set by international committee of radiological protection (ICRP) and US food and nutrition board (FNB). Apparently our diet seems enriched in iron contents. But its bioavailability may be low due to dietary composition. Major portion of our diet is based on plant food (71 per cent), followed by milk products (17 per cent) and other miscellaneous items, whereas consumption of animal food is only 5 per cent. This dietary composition and our food intake habits in the presence of iron inhibiters (i.e. phytate in plant food, tannin and polyphenols in tea and calcium) could be the leading cause of iron deficiency anemia among the Pakistani population.

Originality/value – Iron deficiency anemia is quiet common and cause of concern in Pakistan. The findings of the study indicate that bioavailability of iron to Pakistani population can be enhanced/improved with slight alterations/adjustments in dietary habits.



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