Of vital importance for blood balance, iron is the mineral that should arouse the attention especially of young women. Indeed, they are prone to iron deficiencies, caused by the losses they suffer during menstruation and by the increased demands during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Recommended daily dose: 10-18 mg.
For newborns and infants (up to 11 years old) 0.1 mg of iron / kg body is recommended; the adult man should take 10 mg; the adolescent, 15 mg; adolescence and adult woman, between 16 and 18 mg; pregnant and lactating women, between 20 and 22 mg (some go up to recommend doses ranging from 30 to 50 mg).
Iron is found in foods and comes in two forms:
- Hemic iron, easier to absorb by the body, which comes from red meat (especially from the liver), fish (especially oysters, shells, sardines) and brown turkey meat;
- nonhemic iron, more difficult to absorb by the body, found in green vegetables (spinach, parsley, leeks, cabbage, beet leaves), legumes (lentils, peas), dried fruits (grapes, apricots) and whole grains.
The role of iron in the body
- is specialized, for the most part (about 70%), in the production of hemoglobin, a pigmented substance that helps the red blood cells to bring oxygen to all the cells of the body; good oxygenation prevents fatigue;
- is constituted in the form of deposits (30%) in different organs, such as spinal cord, spleen and liver;
- reduces the risk of anemia and strengthens resistance to diseases.
Disorders - deficiency or excess
Disorders attributed to iron deficiency
An adult man loses about 1 mg of iron a day. Women, during the menstrual cycle, lose up to 15 mg of iron daily. During pregnancy, future mothers should also cover the needs of the baby, in addition to their own.
Even though anemia is probably the predominant symptom of iron deficiency, infections that the body cannot properly deal with if deficient in iron - should not be neglected - in this abnormal situation, defense cells accumulate iron, thus reducing the amount available. common for red blood cells.
Careful! not all forms of anemia are the result of iron deficiency, you should consult your doctor before consuming a supplement.
Disorders attributed to excessive iron consumption
The toxic effects of an iron overdose compel some precautions. Except in some situations, leaving aside the exceptional situations (pregnancy, breastfeeding and certain repeated infections), iron supplementation should not be necessary, provided that daily needs are met through nutrition. The doctor should prescribe the dose following a blood test.
An overdose of iron causes nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea; in the long term, it can cause surplus deposits on the joints (arthritis).
- Vitamin C facilitates the absorption of iron, as opposed to calcium and tannin (contained in tea), which slow down its assimilation.
Tags Iron Children