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Trop Med Int Health. 1997 Jul; 2(7): 617-23.

Geophagy (soil consumption) and iron supplementation in Uganda.

Abrahams PW.

Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.

Despite the often limited awareness of geophagy, the deliberate consumption of soil by humans, it is common in certain areas of the world. This paper reports the mineralogical and geochemical composition of geophagical materials collected from Uganda, and indicates the potential of such soils in supplying iron to the geophagist. In countries like Uganda where modern pharmaceuticals are either unobtainable or prohibitively expensive, ingested soils may therefore be very important as a mineral supplement for the health of individuals providing they are consumed sensibly. Alongside this argument is the fact that individuals in such poor countries are frequently iron-deficient.

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