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Does iron deficiency lead to obesity?

Q: Does iron deficiency lead to obesity? What are the benefits and side effects of iron intake?

A:Iron is a mineral required by the cells in our body for their normal functioning. It is a part of haemoglobin (the red protein in our blood which transports oxygen) and many enzymes (chemicals required for normal cell function) involved in energy production, cell division and synthesis of DNA. It is the commonest nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of anaemia. Its deficiency in adults leads to fatigue, weakness, breathlessness, headache, light-headedness, pale skin, changes in nails and tongue, etc. There is an inability to do physical work and impaired mental functioning. Iron deficiency does not lead to obesity. Iron tablets may cause gastrointestinal side effects (in some patients) like nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, dark coloured stools, and/or abdominal distress, but this can be minimised by starting the drug at a low dose and gradually building it up. Taking the medicine several times a day and along with food also helps.


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