Iron

What is iron?
Iron is vital to the health of the human body, and is found in every human cell, primarily linked with protein to form the oxygen-carrying molecule hemoglobin. The human body contains approximately 4 grams of iron.

What can high-iron supplements do for you?

  • Enhance oxygen distribution throughout your body
  • Keep your immune system healthy
  • Help your body produce energy

What events may indicate a need for more high-iron supplements?

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Hair loss
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Brittle nails
  • Apathy
  • Depression

What factors might contribute to a deficiency of iron?
Iron absorption is decreased in people with low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria), a condition that is common in the elderly and those who use antacids frequently. In addition, iron absorption can be decreased by caffeine and by tannins found in coffee and tea.

Iron may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following medical conditions:
Alcoholism, attention deficit disorder, colitis, diabetes, excessive menstrual blood loss, iron deficiency anemia, leukemia, parasitic infections, restless leg syndrome, stomach ulcers, tuberculosis.

What foods provide iron?
Excellent food sources: chard, spinach, thyme, and turmeric.
Very good sources: romaine lettuce, blackstrap molasses, tofu, mustard greens, turnip greens, string beans, and shiitake mushrooms.
Good sources: beef tenderloin, lentils, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, venison, garbanzo beans, broccoli, leeks, and kelp.

What are toxicity symptoms for iron?
Iron poisoning, caused by acute ingestion of large quantities of iron-containing supplements, causes nausea, vomiting, damage to the lining of the intestinal tract, shock, and liver failure, and is a leading cause of death among children.

Adequate intake levels for iron (per day). The recommendations are as follows:

  • 0-6 months: .27 mg
  • 7-12 months: 11 mg
  • 1-3 years: 7 mg
  • 4-8 years: 10 mg
  • Boys 9-13 years: 8 mg
  • Boys 14-18 years: 11 mg
  • Girls 9-13 years: 8 mg
  • Girls 14-18 years: 15 mg
  • Men greater than 18 years: 8 mg
  • Women 19-50 years: 18 mg
  • Women greater than 50 years: 8 mg
  • Pregnant women 14-50 years: 27 mg
  • Lactating women 14-18 years: 10 mg
  • Lactating women 19-50 year: 9 mg


 
 
 

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