Prebiotics On Human Iron Absorption
Functional Food

Prebiotics On Human Iron Absorption

Iron deficiency is the more common nutritional deficiency, especially in Asian women. Oral iron supplementation is the recommended first-line treatment. It is also used as a preventive measure. Even so, the problem persists. Supplementation may require enhancers of iron absorption to improve its outcomes. In my earlier blog, I explained the potential roles of prebiotics in our diet. In this post, I may add another to the list. 



Scientific literature proposes that prebiotics can enhance iron absorption, but lacks significant interpretation. A recently published narrative review of human trials tried to summarize the existing evidence on the effects of prebiotics on human iron absorption.[1] Eleven published articles were identified as of November 2021. While inconsistencies between the studies and results exist, convincing evidence exists for the prebiotics galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides improved iron absorption with the commonly used iron compound ferrous fumarate, in anemic, adult women and infants.[1] More research investigating the optimal combination of prebiotic, iron compound and dose as well as the effect of long-term application on iron status outcomes is needed.


[1] Husmann, Frederike M D, Zimmermann, Michael B & Herter-Aeberli, Isabelle. 2022. The Effect of Prebiotics On Human Iron Absorption: A Review. Advances in Nutrition



Posted by Dr. Loke Wai Mun