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Randomised controlled trial
One iron pill a day keeps fatigue away?
  1. Pierre-Alexandre Krayenbuehl,
  2. Henriette Heinrich
  1. Division of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Pierre-Alexandre Krayenbuehl
    Division of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich 8091 Switzerland; pierrea.krayenbuehl{at}

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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 …

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  • Competing interests None.