The Role and Importance of Iron Supplements?
Iron is very important for the growth of all cells. It is needed to help our red blood cells deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. Almost two-thirds of the body’s iron is found in the hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells. Iron deficiency is the leading cause of anemia and is the most common nutritional deficiency in the whole world.
Are there any benefits of iron?
Iron, an essential mineral, is mostly found in the Red Blood Cells. It helps –
- in the formation of Hemoglobin,
- to improve muscle strength,
- to reduce fatigue,
- to boost immunity,
- in improving concentration,
- to reduce insomnia,
- in improving gastrointestinal processes,
- in the regulation of body temperature.
Is there any normal dosage of iron?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance as per Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines, 2010 for Iron is 17mg for Men and 21mg for Women doing Moderate Work. For children, it is different depending on age and gender.
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Who is affected by a lack of iron?
People prone to iron deficiency are –
- young women,
- pregnant women,
The main causes of iron deficiency are increased iron needs, inadequate amounts of dietary iron, blood loss and poor absorption of iron by the body. In these situations, iron supplements may help you meet your iron requirements. Talk to your doctor or dietitian to determine if iron supplements are right for you.
Are there any side effects of excess iron intake?
Iron toxicity is rare because the body uses it in one way or another. Regulate your iron intake if you suffer from hemochromatosis – a genetically inherited disease that can cause iron to accumulate to toxic levels in the body. Without treatment, this disease can lead to problems like liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, and heart disease.
Consult your doctor before opting for any kind of supplement as excess iron can be harmful and damage your body. It is preferable to achieve optimal iron intake through the diet rather than supplements. This will ensure the optimal intake of other nutrients along with iron and will help in minimizing the risk of an iron overdose.
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