IRON (Fe)

IRON is the most abundant trace element found in the body.   It promotes resistance to disease and is absolutely essential for the formation of the Haemoglobin molecule, a vital part of the red blood cell which gives blood it’s red pigmentation.   Haemoglobin has the job of transporting oxygen to every single cell of the body, oxygen sustains the life of the cells.  Therefore, without IRON, oxygen starvation causes white pallor, fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath, brittle nails, giddiness, headaches, insomnia and palpitations, a condition known as IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA.

Women lose IRON regularly during menstruation, a loss of 10 to 15 mg is a large amount to replace.   Then during pregnancy a woman is depleted of her IRON stores too, supplementation by these two groups of women is recommended.

Babies may need supplementation as mother’s milk is low in IRON and cow’s milk contains even less.   Senior citizens can be affected by a decreased, poorly rate of absorption which can cause generalised itching.

Organic IRON – ferrous gluconate is the most easily absorbed form of IRON, inorganic IRON– ferrous sulphate is less efficient and it destroys Vitamin E, therefore take IRON and Vitamin E eight hours apart.

Both Vitamin C and Calcium aid the absorption of IRON, coffee and tea interfere with it’s absorption.

Care and professional advice needs to be sought to differentiate between anemia and IRON  deficiency anemia, the former category being caused by internal bleeding ie ulcers, colitis, haemorrhoids and faulty intra-uterine-device.   Excess IRON can cause liver damage and arthritis so it would be best to have an analysis of blood IRON levels before undertaking a prolonged course of IRON.

The best natural sources are:-   liver and kidneys (beware of the toxicity of these organ meats), red meat, dried peaches, raisins, prunes, apricots, bananas ( a rare source of Vitamin B12), walnuts, sunflower seeds, lentils, egg yolk, molasses, dried peas, green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts.

 

 

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