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A New Potential Dietary Approach to Supply Micronutrients to Physically Active People through Consumption of Biofortified Vegetables

  • Autori: Baldassano S.; Polizzi M.R.; Sabatino L.; Caldarella R.; Macaluso A.; Alongi A.; Caldara G.F.; Ferrantelli V.; Vasto S.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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Micronutrients are required in many reactions involved in physical activity and exercise. Most physically active people do not meet the body’s needs in terms of micronutrients through diet. The novelty of the present manuscript is the use of an innovative dietary approach to supply micronutrients to physically active people through biofortified food. Therefore, the key point of this study was to verify whether supplementation with biofortified vegetables—and specifically molybdenum (Mo)-enriched lettuce—in healthy volunteers affects essential regulators of body homeostasis and, specifically, hematological parameters, iron and lipid metabolism, and hepatic function. Twenty-four healthy volunteers were allocated in a double-blinded manner to either a control group that consumed lettuce, or the intervention group, which consumed Mo-enriched lettuce, for 12 days. Blood samples were collected at baseline (T0) and after 12 days (T1). We found that supplementation with Mo-enriched lettuce did not affect hematological parameters, liver function, or lipid metabolism, but significantly improved iron homeostasis by increasing non-binding hemoglobin iron by about 37% and transferrin saturation by about 42%, while proteins of iron metabolism (e.g., transferrin, ferritin, ceruloplasmin) were not affected. The serum molybdenum concentration increased by about 42%. In conclusion, this study shows that consumption of Mo-biofortified lettuce ameliorates iron homeostasis in healthy subjects, and suggests that it could be used as a new nutritional supplementation strategy to avoid iron deficiency in physically active people.