[Efficacy of iron] 3 reasons to take iron even if you are not anemic

3 reasons to take iron even if you are not anemic

Hello. This is Jinny, the pharmacist.
Today, I would like to introduce you to iron, a mineral essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the body. If you feel dizzy and tired, and you feel like your complexion is becoming pale, the first disease you 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 of it as a necessary ingredient only for anemic patients. However, even if it is not for the purpose of treating anemia, there is a life cycle where supplementation is recommended due to increased need. These are growing children and adolescents, adult women, and pregnant women .
Today, we will look at the importance of iron supplementation at each period through a research paper. 

1. Brain development
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional disorders worldwide. However , iron deficiency in infants in particular has been found to affect cognitive abilities such as reduced attention and reduced emotional responses .
A study published in 2003 reviewed data on the effects of iron deficiency on brain development and concluded: 

“  Several studies support the theory that iron deficiency during brain development is critical for normal brain iron and behavioral outcomes. ”
Reference paper: Lena Hulthén (2003). Iron deficiency and cognition, Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition, 47(3):152-156. 

2. Improves women's fatigue and increases hemoglobin and ferritin 
If you are a woman of childbearing age, it is easy to lack iron even if you are not anemic, and you may feel dizzy and tired, especially during your period. This is a phenomenon that occurs when the blood of the whole body gathers in the uterus to discharge menstrual blood and the blood flow is temporarily not smooth.
In 2012, a paper was published in the CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL reporting  that iron supplementation can also affect fatigue in women who are not anemic .

“ The average score on the present and past psychological scales for fatigue decreased by 47.7% in the iron-supplemented group and by 28.8% in the placebo group. (Omitted) Compared to placebo, iron supplementation increased hemoglobin and ferritin (the primary form of iron stored in cells). (abbreviation) ”
Reference Paper : 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 is a nutritional component that is provided free of charge to pregnant women by the state? It's folic acid and iron. From the 5th month of pregnancy, the growth rate of the fetus accelerates and the need for iron also soars, but it is difficult to supplement it with normal meals .
The reason why 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 affects the birth weight of newborns 

“  Compared to placebo, iron supplementation (omitted) significantly increased average birth weight, significantly reduced the probability of low birth weight and significantly reduced the probability of preterm low birth weight. ”
Reference paper: 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. 

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 to pay more attention to nutrition management that is the foundation of health.
I hope you have a healthy day in body and mind. It was Jinny.