Home > Search Results

Results: 1 to 20 of 44

Clear

“Vitamins strengthen our immune system,” and “Omega 3 is good for your heart”: Dietary supplements are often marketed using a number of different promises, and they are available everywhere, from pharmacies and supermarkets to the internet. But do we really need all of these tablets, powders and capsules? What makes dietary supplements different from medicine and can they also be harmful?

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 8, 2016

Postnatal depression is a common condition that affects women and may impact on their babies. Common symptoms of postnatal depression include fluctuations in mood, mood changes, suicidal ideation and preoccupation with infant well‐being ranging from over‐concern to frank delusions. There is currently not much evidence regarding interventions that might prevent or treat postnatal depression. A diet lacking in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients may cause postnatal depression in some women. Correcting this deficiency with dietary supplements might therefore prevent postnatal depression. Examples of possible dietary supplements aimed at preventing postnatal depression include omega‐3 fatty acids, iron, folate, s‐adenosyl‐L‐methionine, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D and calcium.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 24, 2013

Approximately one out of three non‐pregnant women of reproductive age are anaemic worldwide. Although causes of anaemia are multiple, it very often results from sustained iron deficiency. Being anaemic makes women more likely to suffer infections and to have a diminished physical and work performance. If they become pregnant, they may also have a greater risk of having low birth weight babies and other complications during delivery.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 7, 2011

Children living in malarial areas commonly develop anaemia. Long‐term anaemia is thought to delay a child's development and make children more likely to get infections. In areas where anaemia is common, health providers may give iron to prevent anaemia, but there is a concern amongst researchers that this may increase the risk of malaria. It is thought that the iron tablets will increase iron levels in the blood, and this will promote the growth of the Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria. We aimed to assess the effects of oral iron supplementation in children living in countries where malaria is common.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: February 27, 2016

Approximately 600 million preschool and school‐age children are anaemic worldwide. It is estimated that half of these cases are due to a lack of iron. Iron deficiency anaemia during childhood may slow down growth, reduce motor and brain development, and increase illness and death. If anaemia is not treated promptly, these problems may persist later in life. Taking supplements containing iron (sometimes combined with folic acid and other vitamins and minerals) on a daily basis has shown to improve children's health but its use has been limited because supplements may produce side effects such as nausea, constipation or staining of the teeth. It has been suggested that giving iron one, two or three times a week (known as 'intermittent' supplementation) may reduce these side effects and be easier to remember, and thus encourage children to continue taking the iron supplements.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 7, 2011

During pregnancy, women need iron and folate to meet both their own needs and those of the developing baby. The concern is that if pregnant women become deficient in these nutrients they are unable to supply them in sufficient quantities to their baby. Low folate nutrition before conceiving increases the risk of the baby having neural tube defects. Low iron and folate levels in women can cause anaemia, which can make women tired, faint, and at increased risk of infection.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 22, 2015

Iron deficiency (a shortage of iron stored in the body) and anaemia (low levels of haemoglobin ‐ healthy red blood cells ‐ in the blood) are common problems globally, especially in women. Low levels of iron can eventually cause anaemia (iron‐deficiency anaemia). Among non‐pregnant women, around one third are anaemic worldwide. The problem is seen most commonly in low‐income countries, but iron deficiency and anaemia are more common in women in all contexts. Iron‐deficiency anaemia is considered to impair health and well‐being in women, and iron supplements ‐ tablets, capsules, syrup or drops containing iron ‐ are a commonly used intervention to prevent and treat this condition. We sought to review the evidence of iron, taken orally for at least five days per week, for improving health outcomes in non‐pregnant women of reproductive age (menstruating women).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 18, 2016

Anaemia is a frequent condition during pregnancy, particularly among women from low‐ and middle‐income countries who have insufficient iron intake to meet increased iron needs. Traditionally, pregnancy anaemia has been prevented with the provision of daily iron supplements, however, it has recently been proposed that if women take supplements less often, such as once or twice weekly rather than daily, this might reduce side effects and increase acceptance and adherence to supplementation. In this review we assess the benefits and harms of intermittent (i.e. two or three times a week on non‐consecutive days) oral supplementation with iron or iron + folic acid or iron + vitamins and minerals for pregnant women.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 19, 2015

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies due to the requirements of the growing baby during the pregnancy. In low‐income countries, many women have diets with low content of vitamins and minerals, and they participate in long hours of physical labour. They are also exposed to recurrent infections, which make nutritional deficiencies worse. Thus, lack of adequate nutrition can contribute to the poor health of these women their babies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: June 19, 2015

This review examined whether providing iron supplementation is beneficial for preterm and low birth weight infants. The potential benefits included improvements in the level of red blood cells and stored iron in their blood. In the longer term, it was thought that iron supplementation might improve the babies' growth and development. We identified 25 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) which were relevant to this topic. We concluded that the long term benefits of iron supplementation for preterm and low birth weight babies remain uncertain. Regarding red blood cell and iron levels, it was found that in the first year of life, after two months of age, iron supplementation may result in slightly higher iron stores and red blood cell levels, and lower rates of iron deficiency anaemia. However, there was a lot of variability between different studies. More RCTs are needed, using well defined patient groups.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: March 14, 2012

Iron supplements are particularly important for pregnant women who have anemia. In women who have normal iron levels, taking iron supplements as a precautionary measure probably doesn’t have any health benefits. They can get enough iron in their diet.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 22, 2018

Iron deficiency can cause symptoms of tiredness. The interval between blood donations is set by independent regulators to minimise iron deficiency in donors. Potential blood donors are screened each time they visit to give blood to see if they have iron deficiency. Donors who do not pass this screening test and so cannot give blood are deferred and asked to delay giving blood, but many of these donors do not return. If blood donors take iron tablets then the risk of becoming iron deficient may be reduced. However, the balance between the benefits of giving iron and the possible side effects is not clear. We have reviewed all the randomised trials testing the benefits of giving blood donors iron. The evidence is current up to November 2013.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 3, 2014

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common medical condition that results in uncomfortable urges to move the legs, especially in the evening and at night, and often interferes with sleep. Low blood levels of iron are frequently seen in people who have RLS and the lack of iron may be part of the cause of RLS. Iron can be supplemented either in pill form or through injections into the bloodstream. This review was performed to see if iron supplements are effective in reducing the symptoms of RLS. Six studies of iron were included, which together involved only 192 subjects. Results from the studies were conflicting, with some studies showing that iron was not effective but others showing some help for patients' feelings of restlessness or discomfort. Because of the different ways in which the studies were done, we could not combine results from all of the studies to come up with an overall judgement of whether or not iron is effective. Two of the studies were limited to specific sub‐groups of RLS patients, who might be expected to respond to iron differently than would the RLS group as a whole. The study of RLS patients with severe kidney disease showed a benefit of iron therapy. The study of RLS patients with low blood levels of iron did not consistently show a benefit of iron therapy at all time points. Iron did not cause any more side effects than the placebo medication. More studies are needed before we will be able to determine whether iron therapy should be used for patients with RLS.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: May 16, 2012

Iron may reduce the frequency and severity of breath‐holding attacks (or spells) in children but more research is needed to determine the extent of this effect. Breath‐holding attacks are a common disabling phenomenon during early childhood. They are distinct from seizures and it is common for them to spontaneously resolve by the time the child reaches seven years of age. This review of controlled clinical trials found that iron supplementation, which is generally well tolerated orally, may reduce the frequency and severity of breath‐holding attacks, particularly if the child is anaemic. It is not known if this benefit is sustained after three months or if iron therapy should be continued until the child grows out of the breath‐holding episodes.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: May 12, 2010

Approximately one billion people worldwide are deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral (also known of micronutrients). Iron, vitamin A, zinc and iodine deficiencies are very frequent among children of preschool (aged 24 months to less than 5 years) and school age (5 to 12 years of age), limiting their health and daily physical performance. Anaemia, the condition in which red blood cells have limited capacity to carry oxygen, frequently results after prolonged iron deficiency.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 23, 2017

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate used in supplements and fortified staple foods (like wheat and maize flour) to reduce the occurrence of neural tube defects (NTDs). These include spina bifida (or cleft spine), where there is an opening in one or more of the bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column, and anencephaly where the head (cephalic) end of the neural tube fails to close. Supplementation with folic acid is internationally recommended to women from the moment they are trying to conceive until 12 weeks of pregnancy. Another option recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is that women of reproductive age take intermittent (weekly) iron and folic acid supplements, especially in populations where the prevalence of anaemia is above 20%. Supplementation may also reduce other birth defects such as cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, and congenital cardiovascular defects. Recently, 5‐methyl‐tetrahydrofolate (5‐MTHF) has been proposed as an alternative to folic acid supplementation. This is because most dietary folate and folic acid are metabolised to 5‐MTHF. Some women have gene characteristics which reduce folate concentration in blood.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 14, 2015

Background: The current treatment of CIA is ESAs, which increase the production of red blood cells (erythropoiesis), and in some cases ESAs and iron. In some cases, strategies such as no therapy or wait and watch with clinical oversight and red blood cell transfusion may be safe and suitable options. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate the benefits and harms of iron in the management of CIA.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: February 4, 2016

Vitamin supplementation is commonly recommended for pregnant women and women planning to conceive. Considering the widespread use of vitamin supplementation before and during pregnancy, it is important to study the relation between vitamin supplementation and early pregnancy outcomes, particularly since the causes of miscarriage are unknown and the nutritional status of a mother can affect her baby’s development.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: May 6, 2016

In low‐ and middle‐income countries, many women have poor diets and are deficient in nutrients and micronutrients which are required for good health. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body in very small quantities but are important for normal functioning, growth and development. During pregnancy, these women often become more deficient, with the need to provide nutrition for the baby too, and this can impact on their health and that of their babies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 13, 2017

Although vitamin E deficiency is rarely seen in healthy adults, for pregnant women, insufficient dietary vitamin E (found in vegetable oils, nuts, cereals and some leafy green vegetables) may lead to complications such as pre‐eclampsia and the baby being born small. In addition, vitamin E deficiency can be made worse by too much iron and so it is important to investigate the optimum amounts for pregnancy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: September 7, 2015

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

See all (213)...

Systematic Review Methods in PubMed

See all (2)...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...