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Saint Peters, MO 63376-6414

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Nutrition Stop

Iron Fights Fatigue in Women

Iron supplements have long been prescribed for anemic women who complain of fatigue.  Anemic women have insufficient red blood cells, of which iron is a key component.  Now a new study has found that iron supplements may reduce fatigue for women who are not anemic.  In a recent double-blind study, 136 women between the ages of 18 and 55 who consulted their medical practitioners because of fatigue were randomly assigned to take either 80 mg. of iron supplement or a placebo daily for four weeks.  The study excluded women who were anemic or had chronic fatigue syndrome, psychiatric conditions, or another explanation for being tired.  Before and after the study, the women judged how tired they were on a scale of 1 to 10.  Both groups initially rated their fatigue at 6.4 to 6.5.  After treatment, those given the placebo reported a drop to a fatigue level of 5.6 while those taking the iron supplements had significantly greater improvement to 4.5.  However, the iron supplement only benefited women whose initial levels of iron were low or at the low end of the normal range.