Lucky Iron Fish Saves Lives in Cambodia



Anemia is a serious problem in Cambodia, leading to birth defects and impaired brain development. Chris Charles, a graduate student at the University of Guelph in Canada, was trying to persuade villagers there to increase the amount of iron in their diet. A simple solution would be to stir chunks of iron inside cooking pots, but Charles encountered serious resistance to this idea. His solution, which gained broad acceptance, was to shape the iron like a local fish considered lucky:

“We designed it about 3 or 4 inches long, small enough to be stirred easily but large enough to provide up to about 75 per cent of the daily iron requirement,” said Charles. They found a local scrap metal worker who could make them for $1.50 each, and so far they have been reusing the fish roughly three years.

“We’re getting fantastic results; there seems to be a huge decrease in anemia and the village women say they feel good, no dizziness, fewer headaches. The iron fish is incredibly powerful.”


Link -via @MarilynTerrell | Photo: Christopher Charles

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

There are formal trials underway testing the "lucky fish," including compliance, hemoglobin levels and iron stores. The researchers are preparing scientific presentations.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
@Minnesotastan -- that's true, but would it even be necessary to conduct such trials on-site in Cambodia? If it's been sufficiently established that iron can be effectively absorbed this way, isn't that enough to posit a claim?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Pick up your box of breakfast cereal and look at the ingredients list. See where it says "Reduced iron?" Iron filings in your diet.

Interesting to know whether they use acidic ingredients in their food which might help to dissolve the metallic iron.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What is not present in the article at the link is any objective evidence that the iron is being absorbed and improving anemia. The claim “We’re getting fantastic results; there seems to be a huge decrease in anemia and the village women say they feel good, no dizziness, fewer headaches" could easily represent a placebo effect.

One hopes that for his master's project he persuaded a sufficient number of women to undergo relevant testing of their blood.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Om Nom - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"Lucky Iron Fish Saves Lives in Cambodia"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window