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Heat-Killed Probiotic May Help Increase Serum Iron Levels

Iron is one of the most important minerals the body needs. It helps make hemoglobin in red blood cells, regulates body temperature, and plays a role in gastrointestinal processes and the immune system. According to a new study, supplementation with the heat-killed probiotic Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris H61 may help increase iron serum levels. 

The researchers enrolled 29 women between the ages of 18 and 25 to participate in the study. They received 60 mg of heat-killed H61 or a placebo daily for 4 weeks. Blood samples were used to measure serum iron levels, serum ferritin levels, and transferrin saturation at baseline and at the end of the study period. Ferritin levels show how much iron is stored in the body. Low transferrin saturation indicates possible iron deficiency. 

Participants in the probiotic group saw an average 40% increase in serum iron levels. They also saw an average 15% increase in serum ferritin levels and transferrin saturation. No changes were seen in the placebo group. Iron intake levels did not change during the study period, meaning the increase in serum iron levels was not due to increased iron intake. 

The study was conducted by researchers from Juntendo University. It was published online ahead of print on July 30, 2022 in the journal Nutrients. 

A previous study found that iron deficiency may increase the risk of heart disease 

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