Supplemental iron and zinc can help to improve cognitive skills and enhance mood, among women who are deficient in these minerals.
Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin – the major component of red blood cells, and myoglobin – a molecule that transports oxygen in muscles. Zinc is a vital ingredient of more than 300 enzymes involved in key biological functions in the body. Researchers from Deakin University (Australia) reveal the importance of iron and zinc in maintaining both physical and psychological health and wellbeing in women. Linda Byrne and colleagues reviewed published studies of mood and cognitive effects of increasing iron and zinc intakes in women, ages 12 to 55 years. Observing that: “Iron supplementation appeared to improve memory and intellectual ability … regardless of whether the participant was initially iron insufficient,” the study authors also report that: “the current literature indicates a positive effect of improving zinc status on enhanced cognitive and emotional functioning.”
Lomagno KA, Hu F, Riddell LJ, Booth AO, Szymlek-Gay EA, Nowson CA, Byrne LK. “Increasing iron and zinc in pre-menopausal women and its effects on mood and cognition: a systematic review.” Nutrients. 2014 Nov 14;6(11):5117-41.