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CASE: Karen is a 19-year-old woman on the college cross country team who trains by jogging 10 miles five days a week. She is 152.4 cm tall and weighs 45.4 kg and began following a 1200-kcal vegan (no animal products) eating pattern 5 months ago. She finds it increasingly difficult to continue her training routine due to fatigue. Karen consulted her physician, who ordered a blood iron panel that revealed iron-deficiency anemia.
1. Calculate Karen’s Body Mass Index (see chapter 10), showing your work. Is her BMI considered healthy?
2. List 4 risk factors (not symptoms) Karen displays for iron deficiency.
3. Explain three difference between heme and non-heme dietary iron. What form of iron does Karen consume and how might this be a factor contributing to iron deficiency?
4. What is the Recommended Dietary Allowance for iron for Karen? Why is the RDA lower for women age >51 y?
5. Describe three roles of iron in the body that are important for normal physical activity.
6. Describe the likely appearance (under a microscope) of Karen’s red blood cells in comparison to those from a non-anemic person.
7. According to the text, what is the percent iron absorption from the typical American diet when body iron levels are adequate? In contrast, what is the percent iron absorption when body iron levels are low?
8. Karen wants to improve her body iron status and is willing to make changes to her nutrient intake, provided she still follows a vegan diet. What are three dietary recommendations you would provide to Karen?