Anemia occurs when there are not enough red blood cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen and gives blood its’ characteristic red pigment. When a person’s oxygen-carrying capacity is reduced he or she may appear pale and lack energy. Anemia can be caused by excessive bleeding, poor production and/or destruction of red blood cells, and nutritional deficiencies. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, close to 25% of the world’s population (1.62 billion people) suffers from anemia. It most commonly affects women of childbearing age and young children. However, anemia can affect anyone depending on their health and nutritional status.

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