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Commentary on Vaucher P, Druais PL, Waldvogel S, et al. Effect of iron supplementation on fatigue in nonanemic menstruating women with low ferritin: a randomised controlled trial. CMAJ 2012;184:1247–54.
Could an apple a day keep the doctor away? The world's first multicentre trial addressed this question and found that a simple treatment lacked effect in common cold.1 Can an iron pill a day keep fatigue away? Iron is one of the cornerstones of cellular function being key in haemoglobin and DNA synthesis, and influencing enzymatic activity and especially mitochondrial function. The supposed association between iron deficiency and fatigue is long standing and has so far been difficult to prove. Although fatigue in the context of iron-deficiency ‘anaemia’ is self-evident for every doctor, and notably, pathophysiologically easy to comprehend, fatigue associated solely with low iron stores in ‘non-anaemic’ patients is unfamiliar and more difficult to understand. However, …
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