Iron is used to produce red blood cells, which help store and carry oxygen in the blood1.
If you have fewer red blood cells than normal, your organs and tissues will not get as much oxygen as they usually would1.
- Iron deficiency adversely affects3:
- Cognitive performance, behaviour, and physical growth in children
- Immune status and morbidity from infections in all age groups
- Physical capacity and work performance in adolescents and adults
- Untreated iron deficiency can lead to iron deficiency anaemia
- Anaemia is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world2
- An estimated 2 billion people are anaemic worldwide, of which more than 1 billion live with iron deficiency anaemia2
- Anaemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths
- In many developing countries, iron deficiency anaemia is aggravated by worm infections, malaria and other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis
- In developing countries every second pregnant woman and about 40% of preschool children are estimated to be anaemic