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Benefits of Taking Iron Supplements

Updated on November 2, 2010

Iron

Iron is a natural element in the Earth that is essential for life. We need iron for proteins and enzymes that amount to our good health, and if our body is lacking, we tend to have some ailment or another. When your body is low in iron, you may suffer fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity, along with other signs of iron deficiency.

In order to ensure that you're consuming enough iron in your daily diet, you should make sure that you know what foods are rich in iron.

  • Beef eye of round
  • Beef tenderloin
  • Chicken (liver, leg, breast)
  • Clams
  • Crab (blue crab)
  • Halibut
  • Other: nuts and seeds, whole grains, dark molasses
  • Oysters
  • Pork loin
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna (canned white tuna and fresh bluefin tuna)
  • Turkey (light and dark meat)
  • Vegetables: dried beans and peas, green leafy vegetables, legumes, and lentils

Source

Iron Deficiency

If you think that you may be iron deficient, you may be suffering some of the following signs:

  • Decreased work and school performance
  • Decreased immunity
  • Depression
  • Difficulty maintaining body temperatures
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling weak
  • Inflamed tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow cognitive and social development in children

If you think that you may have an iron deficiency, it is a good idea to see your doctor to have some bloodwork done. Tell your doctor the problems that you've been having, and see if he/she thinks that low iron could be the problem.

Taking an Iron Supplement

Because iron is essential for most life beings, a supplement can help boost immune system and overall production in daily activities. By adding an iron supplement, will see a whole new change in yourself, especially if you are iron deficient.

Iron is needed to form myoglobin, which is a protein essential for healthy muscles and chemical reactions in the body, so an added iron supplement can ensure that this protein is in the body and performing its duties.

You may find that by taking an iron supplement, you just feel better, which is because your immune system is working a little better. The iron will help fight off bacterial infections in the body, keeping you healthier.

Other benefits of an iron supplement include:

  • Iron is thought to be an anti-cancer mineral
  • It will boost energy level
  • It can encourage sleep and prevent insomnia
  • It is thought to help prevent learning difficulties in children
  • Iron can ease painful periods in women
  • It is thought to improve concentration
  • It can improve nail health, by aiding brittle, ridged, and/or breakable nails
  • It can enhance physical performance and endurance
  • Iron is thought to aid muscle strength and health

If you decide to take an iron supplement, you'll want to watch out for any discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn. I've found that by taking an iron supplement, or a vitamin with extra iron, at night, you can sometimes avoid some of the side effects of the iron.

You also need to be careful of having too much iron in the body. If you have too much iron, an excess can build up and potentially cause liver, pancreas, and heart damage. It can also increase and/or worsen infections.

Daily Iron Consumption

Age
Males (mg/day)
Females (mg/day)
Pregnancy (mg/day)
0-6 months
0.27
0.27
-
7-12 months
11
11
-
1-3 years
7
7
-
4-8 years
10
10
-
9-13 years
8
8
-
14-18 years
11
15
27
19-50 years
8
18
27
51+ years
8
8
-

Comments

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    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 

      5 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      There is plenty of iron in foods like greens. A problem with not enough iron is a tiny problem compared to too much iron. Webmd says "Hemochromatosis happens when too much iron builds up in the body. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the part of your blood that carries oxygen to all of your cells. But when there is too much iron, it can damage the liver and heart and lead to other diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis."

      Some MDs say to never take iron supplements since they can kill you. When it comes to foods the body can stop absorbing iron when it has too much.

    • VincentGatti profile image

      VincentGatti 

      8 years ago from Cicero, IN

      Is iron in multivitamins just as good as a all iron pill.

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 

      8 years ago

      I have heard before that it helps with concentration. That's a good reason for students to take iron.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Very good information. Iron gets so easily overlooked and can cause so many problems. Thank you.

    • jayanzhang profile image

      jayanzhang 

      8 years ago

      very good hub, ths! car model pictures, you may have a look at this site: www.carmodelpictures.com

    • drewgo profile image

      drewgo 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Very informative. Cheers for the great hub.

    • almasi profile image

      almasi 

      8 years ago

      Another common sign of anemia is feeling dizzy and fainting. Thanks for an up and useful hub.

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