20 June 2012

Iron supplements can help women with fatigue – new study

Women who have fatigue could benefit from taking iron supplements, even if they don’t have anaemia, a new study shows.


Iron supplements can help address fatigue in women, new research shows.

Feeling tired and run-down is often caused by anaemia which occurs when your body has too few red blood cells. Over a third of all women are iron deficient, according to the World Health Organisation.

People with anaemia often take iron supplements to help the body make red blood cells and to treat the state of constantly being tired.

In a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers randomly assigned 198 women (all with fatigue and low iron levels) aged between 18 and 53, to either take iron tablets every day for 12 weeks or a placebo.

The randomised controlled trial showed that women who took iron tablets felt less tired than those who did not take them. Using a scientific measurement, researchers calculated that women who took iron supplements showed an improvement of 49% in fatigue levels. Those who took the placebo improved by 28%.

According to the health website,, the study shows that some women who have fatigue could benefit from taking iron supplements, even if they don’t have anaemia. However, most iron tablets are known to cause side effects such as upset stomachs or constipation, nausea and headaches.

Low iron levels

A new, 100% natural, mineral-water-based iron supplement, Spatone, has shown not to cause any side effects and has proven to be easier for the body to absorb than ordinary iron tablets.

“It is not actually how much iron we consume that matters, but the amount of iron that our body is able to absorb. It has been shown that the iron absorption from Spatone is as high as 40% - much higher than the iron absorption from food sources (5 - 20%) or conventional iron supplements (3 - 10%),” says Giulia Criscuolo, responsible pharmacist for health company OTC Pharma SA.

“Low iron levels result in fatigue and poor endurance since an insufficient amount of oxygen is supplied to the working muscles,” explains Criscuolo.

“As we get older, the ability of our stomach to absorb iron diminishes. This coupled with often a poorer appetite can lead to less than ideal iron levels.”

(OTC Pharma press release)

- (Health24, June 2012)

Read more:

Do you suffer from anaemia-related fatigue?
Iron deficiency anaemia
Athletes: could you be iron-deficient?
6 steps to increase iron absorption


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