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Does cooking in a cast-iron skillet really increase iron intake?

Studies have examined the impact of using iron cooking pots in food preparation as an intervention to address iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in developing countries.

It has been shown that there is in fact potential of iron pots to enhance iron intake and improve iron status, thereby contributing to the prevention and reduction of iron deficiency anemia.

The mechanism behind this effect lies in the leaching of iron from the pots into the food, thereby increasing the iron content of the meals. The absorbed iron can then contribute to replenishing iron stores and supporting the production of hemoglobin, which is crucial for oxygen transport and overall immune function.

Incorporating iron cooking pots into food preparation practices can serve as an effective and sustainable strategy to address iron deficiency anemia, potentially improving overall health outcomes and immune function in affected populations.


  1. Geerligs, P. D., Brabin, B. J., & Omari, A. A. (2003). Food prepared in iron cooking pots as an intervention for reducing iron deficiency anaemia in developing countries: a systematic review. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics : the official journal of the British Dietetic Association, 16(4), 275–281.

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