[Effects of Iron] 3 Reasons Why You Should Take Iron Even Though You are Not Anemic
Nov 16, 2023KimSunhyo
[Effects of Iron] 3 Reasons Why You Should Take
Iron Even Though You are Not Anemic
You Should Pay Attention to Iron Even If You are Not Anemic
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Iron
1. Brain development 2. Improves fatigue in women and increased hemoglobin and ferritin 3. Maternal and fetal health
Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.
Today, I would like to introduce you to iron, a mineral essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the body. If you feel dizzy, tired, or your complexion seems pale, the first disease to suspect is anemia. Since ‘iron deficiency anemia’ is the most common anemia, most patients diagnosed with anemia are prescribed iron supplements.
Therefore, when it comes to iron, it is easy to think that it is an ingredient necessary only for anemia patients. However, even if the purpose is not to treat anemia, there is a life cycle in which supplementation is recommended as the need increases. These are growing children and adolescents, adult women, and pregnant women.
Today, we will look at the importance of iron supplementation at different times through a research paper.
1. Brain Development
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional disorders worldwide. Iron deficiency has been shown to affect cognitive abilities, including reduced attention and emotional responses to infants and young children.
A study published in 2003 reviewed data on the effects of iron deficiency on brain development and concluded as such
“Several studies support the theory that iron deficiency during brain development is critical for normal brain iron and behavioral outcomes.”
Reference : Lena Hulthén (2003). Iron deficiency and cognition, Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition, 47(3):152-156.
2. Improves Fatigue in Women and Increased Hemoglobin and Ferritin
Women of childbearing age are prone to iron deficiency even if they are not anemic, and may feel dizzy and tired, especially during their menstrual period. This is a phenomenon that occurs when blood from all over the body gathers in the uterus to expel menstrual blood, temporarily impeding blood flow, and can cause great disruption to studies and work.
In 2012, a paper was published in the CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL that reported that iron supplementation can improve fatigue in women who are not anemic.
“Mean scores on current and past psychological measures of fatigue decreased by 47.7% in the iron supplement group and 28.8% in the placebo group. (Omitted) Compared to placebo, iron supplementation increased hemoglobin and ferritin (the primary form of iron stored in cells).”
Reference : Paul Vaucher, Pierre-Louis Druais, Sophie Waldvogel and Bernard Favrat (2012). Effect of iron supplementation on fatigue in nonanemic menstruating women with low ferritin: a randomized controlled trial, CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL, 184(11):1247-1254.
3. Maternal and Fetal Health
Did you know that there are nutrients that the government provides free of charge to pregnant women? These are folic acid and iron. From the 5th month of pregnancy, the growth rate of the fetus accelerates and the need for iron also increases rapidly, but it is difficult to supplement it with a regular diet, so the government supports iron supplements to improve the health of the pregnant woman and the fetus.
The reason this policy was established is because the importance of iron supplementation for pregnant women has been proven for decades. According to a paper published in 2003, iron supplementation in pregnant women also affected the birth weight of newborns.
“Compared to placebo, iron supplementation (omitted) significantly increased average birth weight, significantly decreased the probability of giving birth to a low-birth-weight baby, and significantly reduced the probability of premature birth of a low-birth-weight baby.”
Reference : Cogswell ME, Parvanta I, Ickes L, Yip R, Brittenham GM (2003). Iron supplementation during pregnancy, anemia, and birth weight: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 78(4):773-781.
Today, we looked at when and why you need to supplement iron even if you do not have anemia. I hope 2022 will be a year in which we pay more attention to nutritional management, the basis of our health.
I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.