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Important Iron Facts

Iron, one of the most abundant metals on earth, is essential to most life forms and to normal human physiology. Iron is an important part of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health. In humans, iron is an essential component of proteins involved in delivering oxygen to cells and muscle. Oxygen is used to ignite fuel for energy. It is also essential for the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity.

•  Iron from meat sources is easier to absorb than from plant sources. Vegetarians may require supplementation.

• Vitamin C and certain fruits can increase iron absorption. Tannin-containing foods, such as tea and wine, and dairy products can impair iron absorption.

•  Celiac disease and Crohn's disease are associated with gastrointestinal malabsorption and may impair iron absorption. Iron supplementation may be needed if these conditions result in iron deficiency anemia.

•  Those who engage in regular, intense exercise such as jogging, competitive swimming, and cycling may have marginal or inadequate iron status. Possible explanations

• include increased gastrointestinal blood loss after running and a greater turnover of red blood cells. Also, red blood cells within the foot can rupture while running. For these reasons, the need for iron may be 30% greater in those who engage in regular intense exercise.

•  Women during their menstruating years, and who experience heavy menstrual flow, should consider regular use of supplemental iron.

•  Pregnancy and lactation increase demand for iron.

•  Iron supplementation should be monitored by a health-care practitioner if the individual suffers from cardiovascular disease.


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• Builds Blood
• Supports Immunity
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