Non-anemic, iron depleted women were randomly assigned to an injection group (IG) or oral group (OG) to assess which method is more efficient for increasing iron stores over a short time period. IG received a course of 5 × 2 mL intramuscular injections over 10 d, and OG received one tablet daily for 30 d. Fourteen, 21 and 28 d after commencing supplementation, ferritin concentration in OG significantly increased from baseline (means ± standard error: 27 ± 3 to 40 ± 5 to 41 ± 5 to 41 ± 5 µg/L; P < 0.01). Similarly, on days 15, 20, and 28 post the first injection, ferritin concentration in IG significantly increased from baseline (means ± standard error: 20 ± 2 to 71 ± 17 to 63 ± 11 to 63 ± 7 µg/L; P < 0.01), and was also significantly greater than OG at day 15 and 28 (P < 0.05). Iron injections are significantly more effective (both in time and degree of increase) in improving ferritin levels over 30 d than oral tablets.
Dawson, Goodman, Blee, and Peeling are with the School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, the University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009, Australia. Claydon is with the Seacrest Medical Centre, Sorrento WA 6020, Australia. Beilby and Prins are with the Western Australian Centre for Pathology and Medical Research, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands WA 6907, Australia.