Food Technology Department, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Nigeria
*Corresponding author: Oluwatoyin B Oluwole, Food Technology Department, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, 1, FIIRO Road, Cappa Busstop, Oshodi, Lagos Nigeria
Submission: October 17, 2017; Published: April 11, 2018
ISSN 2640-9208 Volume1 Issue4
Iron is the second most abundant element on earth, and in diets, it is an essential micronutrient necessary for major functions in the body such as transport of oxygen, synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and generation of energy from macronutrients through aerobic respiration. Iron deficiency has been documented as the commonest cause of nutritional anaemia globally. In Nigeria, prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) among children <5 years old has been reported as 22.3%. IDA is associated with negative outcomes such as permanent behavioural and cognitive impairments. Early detection, prompt treatment and outright prevention are necessary to combat these adverse outcomes. This review discusses iron - its human requirements, metabolism and impacts on health. It then focuses on iron status in the Nigerian population, with particular reference to women and children; the strategies to combat iron deficiency are also discussed.
Keywords : Iron; Iron deficiency; Anaemia; Food-based interventions; Supplementation; Fortification; Biofortification
Abbreviations: DNA: Deoxyribonucleic Acid; IDA: Iron Deficiency Anaemia; WHO: World Health Organization; RDA: Recommended Daily Allowance; DMT 1: Divalent Metal Transporter 1; HCC: Hepato Cellular Carcinoma; NFCS: Nigeria Food Consumption Survey ; DALYs: Disability-Adjusted Life Years; DRI: Daily Reference Intake