Background: Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia have been shown to have negative effects on aspects of perception, attention, and memory. Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to assess the extent to which increases in dietary iron consumption are related to improvements in behavioral measures of perceptual, attentional, and mnemonic function. Methods: Women were selected from a randomized, double-blind, controlled food-fortification trial involving ad libitum consumption of either a double-fortified salt (DFS) containing 47 mg potassium iodate/kg and 3.3 mg microencapsulated ferrous fumarate/g (1.1 mg elemental Fe/g) or a control iodized salt. Participants' blood iron status (primary outcomes) and cognitive functioning (secondary outcomes) were assessed at baseline and after 10 mo at endline. The study was performed on a tea plantation in the Darjeeling district of India. Participants (n = 126; 66% iron deficient and 49% anemic at baseline) were otherwise healthy women of reproductive age, 18-55 y. Results: Significant improvements were documented for iron status and for perceptual, attentional, and mnemonic function in the DFS group (percentage of variance accounted for: 16.5%) compared with the control group. In addition, the amount of change in perceptual and cognitive performance was significantly (P < 0.05) related to the amount of change in blood iron markers (mean percentage of variance accounted for: 16.0%) and baseline concentrations of blood iron markers (mean percentage of variance accounted for: 25.0%). Overall, there was evidence that the strongest effects of change in iron status were obtained for perceptual and low-level attentional function. Conclusion: DFS produced measurable and significant improvements in the perceptual, attentional, and mnemonic performance of Indian female tea pickers of reproductive age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics