Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common nutritional deficit in either the developed or the developing world, being more prevalent in women of child-bearing age and children. Iron deficiency anaemia can impair work efficiency, cause symptoms of fatigue and malaise and during pregnancy it can result in pre-term labour and low-birth-weight babies. Genetic variants in the iron regulatory systems influence the likelihood of iron deficiency. The G277S transferrin mutation is found to influence iron metabo lism and predispose menstruating white women to iron deficiency anaemia. Apart from the genetic contributor, iron status may reflect the form as well as the amount of iron in the diet. Non-haem iron is subject to a variety of modifying influences that ma y enhance or inhibit iron uptake. Fish contains certain components that enhance non-haem iron absorption. Very little is known about the influence of processed fish on iron bioavailability. The objectives of the present project are: 1.To establish the presence of the G277S mutation in transferrin gene in a group of white menstruating women with low iron stores (ferritin<20 ug/l) and haemoglobin >11g/dl who present a single ethnic background of European ancestry. A new assay will be developed in order to determine the SNP allele variant of G277S. 2.To comparatively study the effect of sous vide fish on non-haem iron absorption from vegetables in a group of women with either the G277S/G277S or G277S/G277G genotype (preferably homozygous) versus a control group that do not present the indicated mutation in the transferrin gene but the wild type G277G/G277G. This part of the study will be done using stable isotope methodology, specifically the erythrocyte incorporation method. These techniques w ill be introduced in the host institute in Madrid. The project will be carried out thanks to the networking of three European centres (two in Spain and one is UK).
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