Settling the Score on Iron Supplements

Anemia is a scourge on pregnant women and children, particularly in the developing world. Iron supplements may be a key intervention, but existing research on their efficacy and safety is patchy.

The WHO recommends iron supplements and micronutrient powders for children in settings where anemia is prevalent, but it’s unclear whether they improve key health outcomes.

Now, 3 large trials may offer some clarity. Researchers from the University of Melbourne; the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh; and the University of Malawi College of Medicine are exploring the benefits and risks of iron supplements for kids in low-income countries, and a single intravenous iron treatment for pregnant women.

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