Longevity Briefs: Does iron supplementation improve fatigue in blood donors?

Posted on 8 September 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Modern health care relies heavily on blood donations, enabling lifesaving transfusions. However, the safety of blood donors also must be taken into consideration, as one common side effect of blood donation is iron deficiency. Non-anemic iron deficiency is associated with fatigue, mood swings and lower work performance.

What did the researchers do: In this study, researches have intravenously supplemented iron to 203 participants and placebo to 202. Then, after 6-8 weeks participants provided self-measured fatigue scores.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: There was no difference in fatigue score between groups. Intravenous iron supplementation led to increased levels of ferritin and haemoglobin but had no effect on wellbeing and fatigue.

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