A paper given at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) meeting reports that even moderate iron deficiency, ie, short of anaemia, can impair memory, attention and cognitive ability in women, who in this study were 18-35 years of age. After the study, the women were randomised to iron supplements or placebo, then tested again after four months.
The highest scores in the initial testing were among those with the best iron status, and the performance of those with low iron status improved after supplementation. It was noted that those with low iron status did not have diagnosed anaemia.
[This comes as no surprise as the writer showed exactly the same thing many years ago in Auckland college students].
Source: Murray-Kolb L. Paper at FASEB meeting, New York.
Originally posted 18 June 2004