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Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Apr; 45(4): 785-9.

Vitamin and iron status in new vegetarians.

Helman AD, Darnton-Hill I.

This study assessed the biochemical status of a number of vitamins and iron in a group of new vegetarians. Values were compared with a group of omnivores of similar age. Satisfactory to high levels of serum folate, vitamin E, and riboflavin were found, and all were significantly higher in vegetarians than omnivores. Thiamin status was satisfactory in both groups although a small but statistically significant difference in favor of the omnivores was found. Serum vitamin B-12 was significantly lower in vegetarians, and iron status as measured by serum ferritin was very significantly lower in vegetarians. Pyridoxine status was similar in both groups. A number of sex differences were found in the vegetarian sample. New vegetarian women appear to be at particular risk of developing low iron stores.

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