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School of Health & Human Performance

Katherine Veras

Name:  Katherine Veras


Room number: XB30

Qualifications to date: BSc (Hons) Nutrition (UFAL, Brazil), MSc (Hons) Science (Physiology and Biophysics), PhD Science (Physiology and Biophysics) (USP, Brazil)

Postdoctoral research title: A randomised controlled trial of effects of the chronic consumption of lean red meat on iron status in physically-active females.

Year commenced: 2022

Anticipated year of completion: 2023

Supervisor: Dr Brendan Egan

Research Summary

Female athletes and active adult females participating in high volumes of exercise are at increased risk of compromised iron status due to heightened iron losses through menstruation and exercise-induced mechanisms associated with exercise training. Iron is a functional component of oxygen transport and energy production in humans and therefore is a critically important micronutrient for sport and exercise performance. Oral iron supplementation is commonly used in prevention or/and treatment of iron deficiency but has been criticised because of the side effects such as constipation and increased risk of iron toxicity associated with the use of supplements. There is increasing interest in dietary, food-based approaches rather than the use of supplements to improve iron status of active adults and athletes. Although studies using dietary modification are presently scarce, food-based interventions are in principle at least as effective, but possibly more effective, than oral iron supplementation. Indeed, the most recent literature reviews suggest that food-based iron interventions can assist in improving and maintaining iron status in females, and recommendations are made for future work to explore this paradigm. Therefore, I am currently investigating the effects of the chronic consumption of lean red meat on iron status and physical fitness in physically active females in comparison to oral iron supplements. 

Acknowledgements: Funded via the Enterprise Ireland technology Centre Meat Technology Ireland (TC20210031)