A considerable proportion of the populations of developing and industrialised nations does not meet the recommended daily allowance for iron and are thus at risk of chronic iron-deficiency anaemia. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study we investigated whether supplementation with iron-enriched milk can improve the iron status in young women with low iron stores. Sixty-two women aged 20-36 years with serum ferritin concentrations </= 22 μg/l were given 400 ml/d of commercial milk (reference milk; n = 30) or milk enriched with 1.75 mg/100 ml micro-compartmented iron and 10 mg/100 ml vitamin C (Fe-milk; n = 32) as part of their habitual diets for 8 weeks. The Fe-milk was found to increase ferritin concentrations from 13.3 ± 6.9 μg/l (mean ± SD) to 17.7 ± 11.8 μg/l after 8 weeks, whereas the reference milk resulted in a decline from 12.6 ± 6.8 μg/l to 10.6 ± 8.1 μg/l (p = 0.01). After 8 weeks haemoglobin was higher in women receiving Fe-milk (135.5 ± 1.0) than in women receiving reference milk (131.4 ± 1.5 g/l; p = 0.03). Conclusion: Milk enriched with micro-compartmented iron and vitamin C can increase depleted iron stores in reproductive age women.