The importance of Iron for our blood health is very well documented. However, Iron supplementation has been suspected by some researchers to be deleterious in individuals infected with malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The mechanism of how the Iron supplementation enhances malaria remains obscure. I am opening the debate: you are welcome to try and shed a light on this mechanism, and state your thoughts on the assertion that Iron supplementation enhances malaria. Related resources are attached to help you in this discussion.
Iron deficiency and malaria have similar global distributions, and frequently co-exist in pregnant women and young children. Where both conditions are prevalent, iron supplementation is complicated by observations that iron deficiency anaemia protects against falciparum malaria, and that iron supplements increase susceptibility to clinically significant malaria, but the mechanisms remain obscure. Here, using an in vitro parasite culture system with erythrocytes from iron-deficient and replete human donors, we demonstrate that Plasmodium falciparum infects iron-deficient erythrocytes less efficiently. In addition, owing to merozoite preference for young erythrocytes, iron supplementation of iron-deficient individuals reverses the protective effects of iron deficiency. Our results provide experimental validation of field observations reporting protective effects of iron deficiency and harmful effects of iron administration on human malaria susceptibility. Because recovery from anaemia requires transient reticulocytosis, our findings imply that in malarious regions iron supplementation should be accompanied by effective measures to prevent falciparum malaria
Link leads to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4249681/
Link leads to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161422/
Link leads to: http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/4/570.full
Link leads to: https://malariaworld.org/blog/vitamin-c-and-malaria-beware