Long-lasting neural and behavioral effects of iron deficiency in infancy

Betsy Lozoff, John Beard, James Connor, Barbara Felt, Michael Georgieff, Timothy Schallert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

739 Scopus citations


Infants are at high risk for iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia. This review summarizes evidence of long-term effects of iron deficiency in infancy. Follow-up studies from preschool age to adolescence report poorer cognitive, motor, and social-emotional function, as well as persisting neurophysiologic differences. Research in animal models points to mechanisms for such long-lasting effects. Potential mechanisms relate to effects of iron deficiency during brain development on neurometabolism, myelination, and neurotransmitter function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S34-S43
JournalNutrition reviews
Issue number5 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Behavior
  • Brain development
  • Infants
  • Iron deficiency
  • Monkeys
  • Rodents


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