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18
JUL

Iron Supplementation Benefits Physical Performance

Filed Under: Vitamins and Minerals,Women's Health at 12:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

A recent study suggests that iron supplementation may provide physical performance benefits. Previous studies have suggested that iron deficiency impairs physical exercise performance but this new research focused on iron deficiency and anemia in women of reproductive age (WRA).

Published in the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, this study performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effect of iron supplementation compared with control on exercise performance in WRA. Randomized controlled trials measured exercise outcomes in WRA and compared the results of individuals taking daily oral iron supplementation versus the ones not taking it. The results were quite impressive. Iron supplementation improved both maximal exercise performance, demonstrated by an increase in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), and submaximal exercise performance, demonstrated by a lower heart rate. Daily iron supplementation significantly helped to prevent and treat iron deficiency in the group.

Iron is an essential mineral found in many foods but women may require supplementation particularly during pregnancy, when the amount of iron needed by the body needs nearly doubles. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, a protein in your body, which helps carry oxygen to your cells. When you are pregnant the volume of blood in your body also increases by about 50%, requiring more hemoglobin to meet these requirements.

Many women have low iron levels even before they become pregnant.  The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that young minority women are at the highest risk of being iron deficient.  As pregnancy continues, normal hematocrit and hemoglobin values will also decrease during the second and third trimester because of hemodilution increasing the risk of becoming anemic. Exercising during pregnancy is very important to maintain good health but women must ensure that iron intake can support the higher required levels as well as the amount needed for physical activity.

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Flora – Floradix Iron Tablets – 80 Tablets
NOW Foods – Iron Complex Vegetarian – 100 Tablets
Vitanica – Iron Extra – 60 Capsules

 

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