Contribution of the Average Meat Consumption in Switzerland towards Fulfilling the Requirements for Iron and Zinc

  • M. Leonhardt
  • C. Wenk


Iron deficiency anaemia is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency. In developing countries the prevalence is especially high. However, even in industrial countries it remains high in children below two years of age, adolescent girls, menstruating women and pregnant women. One reason is that the major part of the world’s population consumes a diet with low quantities of meat. Their major sources of iron such as cereals and vegetables, contain a poor bioavailable iron (1,2). Meat, fish, poultry and offal are the only foods that contain the higher bioavailable heme iron besides the inorganic iron (nonheme iron) (1). Meat, especially red meat, is not only an important source of bioavailable iron but also zinc (3,4). Yokoi et al. (4) showed that frequent red meat intake by premenopausal women was associated with higher serum ferritin concentration and a “normal” plasma zinc disappearance. They suggested that avoidance of red meat increases the risk of iron and zinc deficiencies.


Zinc Deficiency Iron Intake Heme Iron Meat Consumption Zinc Intake 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Leonhardt
    • 1
  • C. Wenk
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Animal Sciences, Group Nutrition BiologySwiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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