Are you among the 14% to 27% of people who suffer from chronic fatigue? Or are you among the women who are 3 times as likely to have fatigue as men?
If so, then you’ll be interested to know that a study in the “Canadian Medical Association Journal” showed that taking an oral iron supplement reduced fatigue in almost 50% of women who were low in iron but not anemic. In case you’re wondering, if you have anemia it means you have a low level of red blood cells, which causes a lack of oxygen reaching your cells. Anemia can definitely cause a drop in your daily energy. Apparently, so can a deficiency of iron.
Boosting Daily Energy with Iron Supplements
In this study, women who were iron-deficient but not anemic took 80 milligrams of prolonged-release iron (ferrous sulfate) for 12 weeks. The study was double blind and placebo-controlled, which is among the highest quality types of studies. The fact that almost 50% of the women receiving the iron supplement felt decreased fatigue led researchers to conclude that iron-deficiency could cause fatigue in women. Thus taking an oral iron supplement or eating iron-rich foods can provide daily energy to women with fatigue due to low iron.
There’s always a but to every supplement, right? The “but” in this case is that some people have difficulty absorbing iron, so taking iron supplements can lead to iron toxicity rather than providing the needed daily energy boost. The main way to discover whether you have a problem absorbing iron is with hair analysis. Hair analysis can reveal high levels of iron in the body, even toxic levels, which means your body isn’t using the iron you take.
One other way to get a daily energy boost without the possible poor-absorption problem is to look at other sources of physical energy. CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the nutrients your body naturally makes that helps with steady daily energy. CoQ10 is used by every cell in your body, yet your body produces decreasing amounts of this enzyme around mid-life. Taking CoQ10 can help with your daily energy.
But even then your body can have a problem with making use of CoQ10, although less so than with iron. If you have poor digestion, absorption of any nutrients can be a problem. To get the most bang from your buck spent on supplemental nutrients, consider taking probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, both of which increase your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, from both supplements and the food you eat.
Happy eating for good nutrition!
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