Lucky Iron Fish is a product made of iron, one can use to add to food to boil with and it is meant to boost the iron levels in the food.

One Lucky Iron FishTM can provide an entire family with up to 90% of their daily iron intake for up to 5 years. All you have to do is cook with it.

On their facts page

A Lucky Iron Fish releases low levels of easily absorbed (bioavailable) iron per use. On average it releases 70 µg/g. To put that in perspective iron supplement pills can provide between 60mg-300mg of iron. Because our Lucky Iron Fish releases such a small amount of iron in each use users do not experience negative side effects.


The Lucky Iron Fish is made from natural ferrous iron, which is easily absorbed by the body and is safe.

Does this product work as claimed? Is the amount of iron released nutritionally significant?

1 Answer 1


There were actually multiple scientific studies done on the fish ingot which led to the design being changed to maximize dietary iron. However, some of the studies were published in predatory journals and the peer review on these is dubious. Here are the more reliable publications:

Iron-deficiency anaemia in rural Cambodia: community trial of a novel iron supplementation technique

Blood iron levels were higher in women in the iron fish plus follow-up at 3 months compared with controls, but this was not maintained. At 6 months, haemoglobin and serum iron had fallen in all groups and the proportion of anaemic women had increased.

I assume this study was done with an early prototype, as the follow-up has better results:

Happy Fish: A Novel Supplementation Technique to Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia in Women in Rural Cambodia (PhD thesis)

Significant improvements in serum ferritin concentration were observed at 9 months (6.9 ng/mL) and endline (30.8 ng/mL) in women who used an iron fish regularly when compared to the control group. Overall, use of the iron fish led to a two-fold reduction in the prevalence of anemia

Review of Iron Supplementation and Fortification (journal of questionable quality; possible conflict of interest from one author)

While this has potential to be effective in addressing iron deficiency it has only been tested on women of reproductive age, and thus it is not certain that the Lucky Iron Fish will provide the right amount of iron for children. The clinical trial included only 6 pregnant women, and future research could seek out larger numbers of pregnant and lactating women to test the effica‐ ciousness in these times of high iron demand. Furthermore, gaining a better understanding of the type of iron that leaches into water and foods would be beneficial, as would further testing of fortifiable foods. Additional challenges associated with this approach are predominantly surrounding acceptability and education, as this intervention requires significant behavior change in home practices. Research regarding the acceptability, adherence and cost-effective‐ ness of this strategy should take place in order to carefully compare it with alternate inter‐ ventions to be included in a national nutrition strategy.

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