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The science and practice of micronutrient supplementations in nutritional anemia: an evidence-based review

Chan, Lingtak-Neander; Mike, Leigh Ann

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PMID: 24847050


Nutritional anemia is the most common type of anemia, affecting millions of people in all age groups worldwide. While inadequate access to food and nutrients can lead to anemia, patients with certain health status or medical conditions are also at increased risk of developing nutritional anemia. Iron, cobalamin, and folate are the most recognized micronutrients that are vital for the generation of erythrocytes. Iron deficiency is associated with insufficient production of hemoglobin. Deficiency of cobalamin or folate leads to impaired synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid, proteins, and cell division. Recent research has demonstrated that the status of copper and zinc in the body can significantly affect iron absorption and utilization. With an increasing number of patients undergoing bariatric surgical procedures, more cases of anemia associated with copper and zinc deficiencies have also emerged. The intestinal absorption of these 5 critical micronutrients are highly regulated and mediated by specific apical transport mechanisms in the enterocytes. Health conditions that persistently alter the histology of the upper intestinal architecture, expression, or function of these substrate-specific transporters, or the normal digestion and flow of these key micronutrients, can lead to nutritional anemia. The focus of this article is to review the science of intestinal micronutrient absorption, discuss the clinical assessment of micronutrient deficiencies in relation to anemia, and suggest an effective treatment plan and monitoring strategies using an evidence-based approach.

Automatic Tags

Humans; Evidence-Based Medicine; Micronutrients; Dietary Supplements; Vitamin B 12; Folic Acid; Intestinal Absorption; Copper; iron; Iron, Dietary; Anemia; adult, life cycle; cobalamin; copper; geriatrics, life cycle; minerals/trace elements; nutrition, anemia; nutrition, vitamins

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