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The Role of Iron in the Body – Benefits of Optimal Iron Blood Levels

Updated on May 3, 2010
Iron rich blood cells
Iron rich blood cells
low iron low energy
low iron low energy

The Role of Iron in the Body – Benefits of Optimal Iron Blood Levels

With the question of what does iron in the blood do the main role is to bind with hemoglobin the protein in red blood cells and help to carry oxygen from the lungs around the body. Iron is essential for a healthy human body and is a vital mineral that is responsible for a wide variety of special functions within the body including.

  •         Production of Blood cells
  •          Production of Hemoglobin
  •          Protein Synthesis
  •          Health of Skin and Hair
  •          Improve concentrations
  •          Energy creation
  •          Fighting Infection

Iron Deficiency – The most common sign of low iron blood levels are those related to a lack of energy which is referred to as anemia. Most of the time low iron blood levels are due to a poor diet and by modifying your diet you can brings the iron levels in the blood back up. Pretty much every women before the age of menopause is in danger of iron deficiency due to the iron loss through menstruation. It would also be a good idea to monitor your iron levels if you are an athlete or vegetarian.

Signs of Iron Deficiency

  •          Tired and Weak
  •          Decreased work or school performance
  •          Slow development
  •         Circulation problems, hot and cold, maintaining body temperature
  •         Inflamed Tongue

The Woolly Mammoth

Did you ever wonder how the wooly mammoth survived in the freezing conditions of the ice age, they had high levels of iron which binds with hemoglobin in the blood which allowed oxygen to flow around there bodies.

Scientists recently recreated mammoth blood from DNA to study the properties of iron/hemoglobin in the blood.

Iron for Survival, bringing oxygen to your organs
Iron for Survival, bringing oxygen to your organs

Iron Dosage

Iron Dosage – Iron can be toxic in excess always check with your doctor before starting an iron supplement.

Infants 0–6 months ,0.2mg (breastfed/adequate intake; bottle-fed infants will need 5–10 times this amount)

Infants aged 7–12 months - 11mg

Girls and boys aged 1–3 years - 9mg

Girls and boys aged 4–8 years- 10mg

Girls and boys aged 9–13 years - 8mg

Boys aged 14–18 years - 11mg

Girls aged 14–18 years - 15mg

Women aged 19–50 years - 18mg

Pregnant women - 27mg

Women aged 51 years and over - 8mg

Men aged 19 years and over - 8mg

Getting your IRON

If you love red meat you’re probably getting plenty of iron and if your not maybe a couple steaks will help boost your iron levels. Some of my favourite sources of iron include

  • - Beef Liver
  • - Eggs
  • - Spinach, Broccoli and Kale

Natural foods high in iron are the best way to get your iron as supplements don’t come with digestive enzyme’s to help absorb the minerals. Iron is one of the hardest minerals to absorb and how much you absorb from your foods will be very individual.

Boost iron uptake by maintaining Vitamin C Levels

Tannins from tea, soy proteins and high vitamin A levels reduce absorption of iron.

Iron Supplements

You can quickly find out your iron blood levels by going to the doctor and getting a blood test, its very quick and usually is covered in full by most healthcare and I can say from personal experience that iron supplements are effective at keeping optimal iron blood levels.


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    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 6 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      The internet is also loaded with information about getting too much iron and the severe damage that this does.

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 6 years ago

      A great informative Hub. Thanks for your research and for share the correct dosage of Iron.

      Voted Useful

    • ultimatekboxing profile image

      ultimatekboxing 6 years ago from New Barnet, North London

      Thanks for the informative hub! I've recently also read that it's best for people over 50 not to take iron supplements, as excess iron and copper can build up in the brain. I addressed it in my hub on foods that prevent alzheimer's, in case you wanted more information.

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 7 years ago

      Thanks for useful info.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      Very interesting hub. Particularly interesting was the tannin in tea reducing iron. Tea is often associated with healthy anti-oxidant qualities but no-one ever mentions reduction in iron absorption from drinking the tannin in tea.