Women and Iron

Women and Iron
ScienceDaily summarizes a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004; 79:437-43) that found the surprising result that “among women who are not anemic, only those with tissue-iron deficiencies can benefit from taking iron supplements.” “Supplementation makes no difference in exercise-training improvements in women with low iron storage who are not yet tissue-iron deficient or anemic,” says Thomas Brownlie, the first author of the study and a Cornell doctoral candidate in nutritional sciences. Iron deficient anemia decreases work capacity because less oxygen can be carried to the muscles. The simple inference is, getting iron up to the right levels will improve this. And in previous work, the same Cornell scientists found mild iron deficiency reduces endurance, and that iron supplementation improves exercise training, seeming to reinforce the idea.
Apparently not. It’s tissue deficiency, not ‘merely’ liver deficiency, that benefits from supplementation. This appears true even at levels below anemia.
What does this mean? How do you know whether you’re tissue-deficient? There is a test – serum transferrin receptor concentration – or you can find out post facto – take iron supplements and if your endurance improves, you were tissue-deficient. Be aware that iron supplementation takes a long time to have an effect – six to eight weeks – and that too much iron is hard on the liver. (5/20)

Please follow and like us:

Related Posts

Play and Alzheimer’s

Low Glycemic Index Diet

Why We Age

Milk and Bones