Iron and Health Report

September 2017

General Practitioners

Country of origin: UK

A report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) highlights that, while most population groups in the UK have sufficient levels of body iron, health professionals need to be alert to the risk of iron deficiency in certain groups and ensure they are given appropriate nutritional advice. Iron deficiency anaemia is a particular risk for toddlers, women of reproductive age and adults over 65. The report recommends a healthy balanced diet, containing a variety of foods rich in iron, as the best way to help people achieve adequate iron status, rather than focusing on iron inhibitors (such as polyphenols in tea) and enhancers (such as vitamin C). The report also concludes that there is a probable link between red and processed meat consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer, and advises high consumers (more than 90g a day) to consider reducing their intakes. The Department of Health recommends high consumers consider reducing their intake of cooked red or processed meat to around 70g a day.

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