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 irondeficiency
‘anaemia’ is self-evident for every doctor, and notably, pathophysiologically easy to comprehend, fatigue associated solely with low iron stores in ‘nonanaemic’ patients is unfamiliar and more difficult to understand. However, evidence is growing that fatigue in non-anaemic, menstruating women with low ferritin can be influenced positively by iron supplementation.2–5 In their paper, Vaucher and colleagues provide further data on the efficacy of oral iron intake in improving fatigue in this population.