- 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)
- fatigue, weakness
- shortness of breath
- iron deficiency anemia
- red meat
- liver, kidney
- egg yolks
- green leafy vegetables
- whole grains
Bread, whole wheat
Beef, sirloin, broiled
- acidic foods prepared in cast-iron pots
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)
- 19 years and older
- 11-18 years
- 11-50 yrs.
- 50+ yrs.
- Pregnant females
- Lactating females
- Children (1-10 yrs)
- Varied values reflect different references
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL)
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.
- Sometimes advised for dieters, strict vegetarians, and pregnant
- Large doses may damage the heart, liver and pancreas
- Iron supplements (38-65 mg/day) but not dietary levels of
iron may decrease zinc absorption
- Vitamin C assists with iron absorption.
- Coffee and tea can inhibit iron absorption.