We found some evidence that iron supplementation improved attention and concentration in adolescents and women, regardless of baseline level of iron status. Iron supplementation also improved IQ in women and children who were anaemic at baseline, but had no effect in other groups or on other cognitive domains

Mild Iron Deficiency May Harm Women’s Memory

Supplements Can Improve Thinking When Iron Low


April, 19, 2004 (Washington) — Even moderate iron deficiency can impair a woman’s thinking. But iron supplements appear to help reverse any learning and memory deficits caused by a lack of iron, a new study shows.

The study is one of the first of its kind to link iron deficiency with a slow down in thinking and memory and to show that replacing iron can remedy the deficits. But researchers warn that supplements have no benefit for women with normal iron levels and that women should have their blood levels checked before using them.

Researchers gave a series of learning and memory tests to more than 100 women between the ages of 18 and 35, about half of whom also had mild iron deficiency but without anemia. More severe iron deficiency can cause anemia, known commonly as “low blood counts,” which is caused by decreased production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

In one test, women were asked to remember a lineup of pictures displayed on a computer screen. On average,