Fermented goat milk consumption improves iron status and evokes inflammatory signalling during anemia recovery
In spite of the crucial role of the inflammatory state under anemic conditions, to date, no studies have directly tested the modulation of cytokines during iron overload. The aim of this work was to contribute to a better understanding of the pathophysiology and recovery from iron deficiency, by studying how fermented goat milk consumption affects inflammatory signalling during iron repletion. Eighty male Wistar rats were used for a pre-experimental period of 40 days, by dividing them into two groups (the control group receiving a normal-Fe diet and the Fe-deficient group receiving a low-Fe diet). Later, the rats were fed with a fermented goat or cow milk-based diet, with a normal-Fe content or Fe-overload (450 mg kg−1) for 30 days. After feeding the fermented milk, the anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines were assessed. The anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-13, IL-10 and IL-4) were higher in both groups of animals (control and anemic) fed fermented goat milk either with normal Fe or Fe-overload with respect to the fermented cow milk. With regard to pro-inflammatory signalling, fermented goat milk consumption decreased the pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-12p70 and IP-10). The Fe overload increased the anti-inflammatory cytokines together with IL-1β and IP-10. Fermented goat milk consumption improves the hematological status and promotes the beneficial metabolic responses related to the inflammatory signaling in nutritional ferropenic anemia recovery, which may be a dietary strategy to lessen the evoked inflammation during iron repletion. Additionally, the parameters of inflammation should therefore be incorporated as routine biomarkers of iron deficiency or overload severity.