May 4—WILKES-BARRE — King's College Associate Professor Diane M. DellaValle has published research showing a novel way to increase iron uptake in iron-deficient women.
Working in the college's new Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences program — part of the Department of Sports Medicine — reported her findings in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.
In her study, DellaValle screened the iron status of female athletes (about 30-40% of active females), randomly assigning them either a single serve powder packet or an identical placebo powder packet for eight weeks. All women received a low dose of iron, but one was coupled with a synbiotic supplement (probiotic supplements, or "bacteria" containing prebiotic components).
The group getting the supplement had "greatly improved" iron stores in their system after 4 and 8 weeks compared to the placebo group.
"This study is important, as it shows how supplemental iron uptake in iron deficient women can be enhanced by synbiotic supplementation, which is an easy step for this population to take to improve their iron stores," according to a media release from King's.
DellaValle completed the study while a professor at Marywood University. She plans to follow up the study with a "comprehensive look at dietary intake as well as the mechanisms behind these effects, including an assessment of the gut microbiome" the release notes.
She is also planning another study on the King's campus "using a different novel, sustainable approach to improving iron status in active college students starting in fall 2021."