Iron (Fe++)

ExRx.net > Nutrition > Micronutrients > Mineral

Functions

  • oxygen transport in red blood cells
  • production of hemoglobin and myoglobin
    • structures that enable oxygen to be carried in blood and stored in muscles
  • enzyme function
  • assists thyroid hormone synthesis via heme-dependent thyroid peroxidase (Zimmermann 2002)

Deficiency

  • fatigue, weakness
  • headaches
  • shortness of breath
  • iron deficiency anemia

Good Sources

Natural

  • red meat
  • liver, kidney
  • shellfish
  • egg yolks
  • beans
  • green leafy vegetables
  • apricots
  • whole grains

Food Quantity mg
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 1.0
Eggs, scrambled 3 medium 2.2
Beef, sirloin, broiled 3 oz 2.6
Liver, fried 3 oz 5.3
Oatmeal, instant 1 packet 6.7

Artificial

  • acidic foods prepared in cast-iron pots
  • molasses

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)

  • Males
    • Adult
      • 8 mg
    • 19 years and older
      • 12 mg
    • 11-18 years
      • 10 mg
  • Females
    • Adult
      • 18 mg
    • 11-50 yrs.
      • 15 mg
    • 50+ yrs.
      • 10 mg
  • Pregnant females
    • 30 mg
  • Lactating females
    • 15 mg
    • 18 mg
  • Children (1-10 yrs)
    • 10 mg
  • Infants
    • 7 mths-1 yr
      • 10 mg
    • birth-6 mth
      • 6 mg
  • Varied values reflect different references

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL)

  • Adults (19 to 50 yrs)
    • 45 mg

Intakes above UL may lead to negative health consequences. Well over 100,000 cases of accidental overdose of iron pills in children under 6 have been reported in the USA. Ingestion of as few as five tablets/200mg can result to death in children. Immediate medical attention is required for any possible incident overdose. Iron poisoning can also be harmful to adults.

Supplementation

  • Sometimes advised for dieters, strict vegetarians, and pregnant women.
  • Large doses may damage the heart, liver and pancreas
  • Iron supplements (38-65 mg/day) but not dietary levels of iron may decrease zinc absorbstion

Notes

  • Vitamin C assists with iron absorption.
  • Coffee and tea can inhibit iron absorption.


Main Menu | Micro-Nutrients Menu | Nutrition Titles