A small percentage of the population has a condition called haemochromatosis. In this condition, iron accumulates in tissues causing damage and disease. Haemochromatosis often goes undiagnosed for many years. Iron supplementation is dangerous for people with haemochromatosis.

Some athletes have been known to have iron injections in order to rapidly increase iron stores. Research indicates performance is not improved by iron injections. There is a risk that anaphylactic shock can occur with iron injections. This can be fatal.

Written by AIS Sports Nutrition, last updated November 2009. © Australian Sports Commission

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