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Some Facts About Iron

Updated on February 25, 2011

Some Facts About Iron

The human body contains approximately four grams of iron. Our daily iron need is ten milligrams for adult men, 15 to 20 milligrams for menstruating and pregnant women and 12 milligrams for children. Vitamin C, copper and the amino acids in proteins all enhance the absorption of iron, whereas excessive calcium interferes with the absorption. Iron blocks the absorption of Vitamin E and therefore the two supplements must be taken several hours apart.

Over half the body’s iron is present in the red blood cells as a constituent of hemoglobin, the protein which transports oxygen to the body tissues. Iron, the red metal lends its color the hemoglobin giving blood its red color.

Iron Deficiency

Symptoms :

  • Difficulty in thinking clearly and quickly
  • Difficulties in remembering occurrences and details
  • Difficulty in calculating mentally
  • Feeling of depression, dizziness and weakness
  • Shortness of breath quickly when running
  • Brittle, lusterless , flattened or even spoon-shaped fingernails
  • Swollen ankle
  • Loss of hair
  • Paleness
  • White ear lobes

Any of the symptoms above may indicate iron-deficiency anemia. Lack of iron leads to insufficient oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. The red blood cells , smaller and paler than normal cannot transport sufficient oxygen to the body. The oxygen-deprived muscles lead to exhaustion and the oxygen-deprived brain lead to the diminished acuity, forgetfulness and depression of iron-deficiency anemia.

Iron Toxicity

Iron deficiency is common but rarely dangerous. Excess of iron or a condition known as siderosis is infrequent but presents an increasing danger. Excessive iron storage occurs because of overabundance of iron intake or from frequent blood transfusions. Cider and wine are also significant sources of iron in the United States and Europe, containing 2 to 16 milligrams or more of iron per liter. The alcohol increases the absorption of ironremarkably. Most iron is stored in liver but when overabundant it is also found in the pancreas, heart, adrenals and skin to which it gives a bronze color. Excessive iron causes primarily liver damage and diabetes, the latter because the pancreas is involved.

Overabundance of iron can cause scurvy because iron inactivates Vitamin C.

Obtaining Iron

Sources of Iron

  • Meats particularly liver and other organ meats
  • Dark green and leafy vegetables
  • Dried fruits
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • molasses

The usual adult dosage of commonly prescribed iron sulfate or iron gluconate is one325-milligram tablet three or four times a day. It is best absorbed if taken between meals Along with 300 milligrams of Vitamin C. These inorganic iron salts can cause nausea,constipation or diarrhea. Chelated iron or iron attached to soybean protein found in health food stores is more efficiently absorbed, allowing lower dosages which are better tolerated by stomach.

In the treatment of iron deficiency, iron supplements should betaken for six months to achieve maximum effects. Overdose of iron can cause sudden toxicity.




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    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 4 years ago from Manila

      Thanks FSlovenec for appreciating this hub. God bless you always. Regards.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Great information there is so much to know about health and the kinds of foods God placed here for us to be healthy, maintain our immune system and live a strong healthy life as He intended...thank you

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 5 years ago from Manila

      Hi beingwell your visit is greatly appreciated. Thank you for dropping by. Be blesssed always.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Great facts on iron. I've written several articles on it as well. I love cooking chicken liver with my veggies and chicken. Hopefully, I'm getting enough heme and non-heme iron in my diet.

    • Little Light profile image

      Lilly May Rose 5 years ago from Australia

      I have suffered with anemia since I was a teenager. It's not fun that's for sure. I've found including iron-rich foods in my diet has helped immensely and having supplements when I'm extra-low brings me back to a better state of being. Olive Leaf Extract has also done wonders for my energy levels. Great Hub.

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi vocal coach thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. I am glad to hear from you. Blessings to you and best regards.

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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Good and informative hub on iron! I love learning new facts relating to nutrition. I hope you will write more like this. Rated up and eager to read more of your terrific hubs. :)vocalcoach

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 6 years ago from India

      Super cool hub cristina. U have provided wealth of information on Iron. Have bookmarked. Keep en lighting us. Cheers

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi DeBorrah it is great to see you on this hub. Thanks for visiting and appreciating this hub. Blessings to you alaways and regards.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      Cristina, Nice informative hub on the benefits of iron! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi Tamarajo great to see you on this hub. Your visit is an encouragement to me. Remain blessed always and regards.

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi Lifegate good to see you on this hub. Thank you for appreciating this hub. Blessings to you always.

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi Dave Matthews glad to here from you. Thanks for dropping by.

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      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi mikeq107 it is great to hear from you again. Thanks for a visit. Your comments are much appreciated. Blessings to you and regards.

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      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      Hi coffeesnob it is great to hear from you again. Thanks for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Blessings to you always and regards.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      interesting. I did not know that it was the iron that contributed to the red color of our blood.

      useful info

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for some more useful information.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      I love calves liver. It needs to be cooked tenderly though.

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      mikeq107 6 years ago

      Hi cristina327 :0)

      Great info..hope you dont mind linked this page...again great hub!!!

      Mike :0)

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      coffeesnob 6 years ago

      very informational. thanks for this. I didn;t know dried fruits are a source of iron