Fighting anaemia with proper, healthy diet
THE World Health Organization (WHO) reports that an estimated two billion individuals, a whopping 30% of the world’s population, suffer from anaemia
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), an estimate of 20% of women of childbearing age have iron deficiency anaemia
This is backed by a study carried out in Peninsular Malaysia, reporting that 25% among all women aged 18 to 60 years old are affected by the sickness Pregnant women are even more likely to experience Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) because they require greater amounts of blood to support their growing babies.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WHO, an average adult needs to absorb 18mg of iron each day, which is essential for alertness, focus and staying healthy
One of the best ways to effectively address IDA is to improve one’s dietary intake with foods that help increase iron intake (iron enhancers) and avoid foods that impair iron absorption (iron inhibitors).
Iron enhancers include ascorbic acid or vitamin C that occurs naturally in vegetables and fruits. Food rich in beta-carotene also help as iron enhancers. Heme iron, more readily absorbed by the body, comes from good and readily available sources such as red meat (including liver), poultry meat, fish and oysters. Surprisingly, moderate alcohol consumption (two drinks a day for males; one a day for females) also enhances the absorption of iron
On the other hand, it is also important to note iron inhibitors, which are found in iron binding phenolic compounds (tannins) including tea, coffee and most red wines. Phytates present in cereal bran, bread made from high-extraction flour, breakfast cereals, oats, rice, pasta products, cocoa, nuts and seeds. Calcium such as milk, cheese, soy proteins also affects the absorption of iron in the body
Another way to combat IDA and rebuild iron stores in the body is by taking iron supplements such as Sangobion Complete – an iron supplement with vitamins and minerals that provides reliable treatment against iron deficiency anaemia. Besides iron, it has five ingredients, which specifically promote the formation and maintenance of blood health – vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B12, copper sulfate and manganese sulfate, which all help promote healthy red blood cell production. Sangobion Complete comes in an easy-toswallow vanilla-scented capsule that leaves no metallic aftertaste and sorbitol that helps minimise constipation, which is common in iron supplement consumption and helps improve iron absorption as well.
Iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach but to minimise side effects like stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhoea, it can also be taken with a small amount of food. Iron supplements should not be taken with milk, calcium, antacids, caffeine and food rich in high fibre. Coupled with a healthy and balanced diet, anaemia can be addressed with proper exercise and making lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and abusive drinking.
As the No.1 iron combinations brand in South-East Asia Sangobion is committed to improving and strengthening blood health of Malaysians.
Merck is organising complimentary haemoglobin tests at selected pharmacies nationwide to raise awareness on anaemia. For more details and to do an initial self-check using Anaemia Risk Assessment Tool, visit www. sangobion.com.my.
For queries, e-mail ch.my@ merckgroup.com
The information contained in this article is not intended or designed to diagnose, prevent, treat or provide a cure for any condition or disease, ascertain the state of your health or be substituted for medical care. Merck encourages you to seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns arising from the information in this article.
WHO. Micronutrient deficiencies: Iron deficiency anemia. www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/ en, accessed 25 Apr 2017.
Healthline, Iron Deficiency Anemia, available at http://www. healthline.com/health/iron-deficiency-anemia?m=0#overview1, accessed 25 April 2017
Ministry of Health Malaysia report on Iron Deficiency, available at http://www2.moh.gov.my/ images/gallery/rni/15_chat.pdf, accessed 30 March 2016
FAO. Human vitamin and mineral requirement. FAO Corporate Document Repository. http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/ y2809e/y2809e0j.htm. Accessed 9 April 2015.
Iron Disorders Institute. Achieving Iron Balance with Diet. www.irondisorders.org/ diet/. Accessed 25 April 2017.
Internal calculations based on QuintilesIMS data: Iron Combinations = ATC4 B3A2 Iron Combination Products. SEA comprised of Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand
Internal reference no: (MYS-SAN-1704-0047)
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Sangobion Complete offers iron supplement with vitamins and minerals against Iron Deficiency Anaemia.