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Iron: Health Benefits, Deficiency and Side Effects

in All , Health Care , Nutrition

Iron is a necessary mineral to produce hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that helps transport oxygen to the body. It also plays a crucial function in support of the immune system.

Iron supports our energy levels, regulates the temperature of the body, and may increase athletic performance.

You may feel exhausted and more sensitive to infections if you do not intake enough iron. A serious iron deficiency can also cause anemia which causes pale skin, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.

Deficiency of Iron

You would not have enough hemoglobin to work normally in your tissues and muscles if your body does not receive enough iron. This would result in a condition known as iron deficiency anemia.

Common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are:

  • pale skin
  • sore tongue
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Palpitations in your heart
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • loss of hair
  • mouth ulcers

Iron deficiency anemia is in over two billion people all over the world, making it the most widespread nutritional deficiency in the world.

Owing to cycles of pregnancy and breastfeeding, women are especially vulnerable. People who are vegetarians, vegans, or people who do not consume meat frequently can have suffered from low iron levels.

Supplements to overcome iron deficiency

Iron deficiency supplements are recommended when:

  • Heavy menstrual cycle
  • Anemia
  • Vegetarian
  • Lack of iron intake food

Before taking any iron supplements, it is always recommended to visit your general physician. The NHS recommends taking a dose of 17mg a day, not more than that unless recommended by your doctor.

Dosage of Iron

The recommended amount of iron intake is 8mg to 27mg for adults.

Health Benefits of Iron Intake

1. Irons helps to Fight against Anemia 

Iron is one of the world’s most important nutrient for the treatment of anemia. Anemia happens when hemoglobin is less than average.

Anemia symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitation of the heart and a feeling of weakness in general.

2. Irons Increases Hemoglobin levels

The main function of iron is to increase hemoglobin by developing red blood cells, which have the main purpose of transporting oxygen to the blood.

Additional hemoglobin is essential in people, particularly when in accidents they might lose a significant amount of blood.

3. Iron Overcomes Fatigue 

Iron can help to control unexplained tiredness that can affect men and women. Low iron can also reduce energy levels even in people who are not anemic.

In women during their reproductive years, this is particularly common.

4. Iron Boosts Muscle Endurance

Metabolism of the muscle relates to low iron. The required oxygen for the contraction of the muscle and endurance is due to adequate iron levels.

One of the most common symptoms of anemia is muscle weakness.

5.    Iron for Immunity 

In building up the immune system, iron plays a significant role. It encourages hemoglobin, supplies oxygen to the damaged cells, tissues, and organs, which is vital for the body to combat disease and infection.

Low iron status can also affect the immune function and healing process of the body.

Side Effects of Iron

Side effects of iron are;

  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Genetic disorders
  • Seizure, coma, and death
  • Internal Bleeding
  • High intake of iron supplements can cause nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting.

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