Research: LOMER and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 99


LOMER and co-workers, Gastrointestinal Laboratory, The Rayne Institute, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK,, have found that the intake of dietary iron is low in patients with Crohn's disease.


Patients with Crohn's disease often experience iron deficiency. The present case-control study aimed to assess whether they have dietary habits that lead to low iron intakes, or whether they have reduced bioavailability of iron as compared with control subjects.


91 patients with asymptomatic Crohn's disease were matched with an equal number of controls. Dietary intakes of iron and contributions from different food groups were compared using a 7-day food diary. Promoters and inhibitors of iron absorption were investigated, and a recently published algorithm was applied to assess bioavailability of iron.


Overall, patients had significantly lower mean iron intake compared with controls (p < 0.001). Differences were mainly due to a preference among Crohn's patients for low-fibre non-iron fortified cereals, particularly breakfast cereals.


Iron was reduced in Crohn's patients due to lower intakes, and the low iron levels may contribute to the risk of inflammatory disease and anaemia.


Lomer MCE, Kodjabashia K, Hutchinson C, Greenfield SM, Thompson RPH, Powell JJ. Intake of dietary iron is low in patients with Crohn's disease: a case-control study. The British Journal of Nutrition 91(1): 141-148, Jan 2004.

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