Objective: Although essential to many vital processes, iron catalyzes reactions that produce reactive oxygen species, which are associated with the increased risk of non-communicable chronic diseases and precocious aging. This study investigated whether ferritin, hemoglobin concentration, and dietary iron consumption are related to oxidative stress biomarkers in adults.
Methods: Data were collected from 134 allegedly healthy subjects >18 y of age who were randomly selected to participate in a cross-sectional study as part of the pilot project Prevalence of Risk Factors for Non-communicable Chronic Diseases in the Federal District, Brazil (VIVA Saúde-DF). Serum ferritin, malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl concentrations, hemoglobin, and dietary iron consumption were analyzed.
Results: A weak positive correlation (r = 0.189, P = 0.032) and association (P = 0.046) was observed for serum ferritin and MDA. Hemoglobin concentrations were positively associated with serum MDA (P = 0.040). Dietary iron intake and serum protein carbonyl concentrations showed a weak positive correlation (r = 0.173, P = 0.046) for all subjects. Iron intake by women was positively associated with serum protein carbonyl (P = 0.03). A lower serum MDA concentration was found in ferritin-deficient subjects (P = 0.015) and men with anemia (P = 0.011).
Conclusion: These results suggest that low levels of iron may reduce oxidative stress.