Iron-along with calcium is one of the major
dietary deficiencies in American women. Because of the blood lost during
menstrual periods, in one month women lose almost twice as much iron as men.
To metabolize iron in your body, you need
copper, cobalt, manganese,
and vitamin C. In turn, iron is required to
metabolize the family of B vitamins. It promotes resistance to infection,
forestalls fatigue, helps in growth, and can bounce back good skin tone. Iron
is essential for the manufacture of myoglobin, the red pigment in muscles. It
is also a component of the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin.
Iron is crucial for your immune system in a number of ways. It enhances your
overall resistance to infection, keeps your immune tissues healthy, and
energizes your fighter white blood cells. Moreover, it vitalizes both white and
red blood cells. Your white blood cells are the major immune-health guardians
while your red blood cells carry essential oxygen to all of your body's
Good for These Symptoms:
- Heart palpitations
- Poor concentration
Signs of Deficiency:
- Anemia and fatigue, most common in infants and among women of reproductive
- Also frequent sickness or infections and chronic malaise.
- Iron-deficiency anemia reduces the ranks of your vital red blood cells.
Those at risk of Low Iron
- Deficiency may be common among infants and children.
- Consequences can be quite profound as deficiency can retard intellectual
development of babies and preschool children.
- Teenage girls at high risk.
- One third of all young women have low iron stores.
- Low iron leaves women particularly vulnerable to Candida, the common
vaginal yeast infection.
- In adult men and women, deficiency may be caused by internal bleeding
through ulcers, intestinal polyps, or hemorrhoids.
- Taking too much aspirin or drinking too much alcohol can contribute to
- Older Americans are at risk for low iron.
- Red meat
- Enriched and whole-grain cereals, especially farina
- Dried beans
- Leafy greens
- Raw clams and oysters
- Dried peaches
- Egg yolks
- Soybean flour
RDA: 10 mg for men 18 mg for women
Optimal Level: 15 mg
Maximum: 25 mg
Signs of Toxicity:
- Liver toxicity,
- Induced vitamin-C deficiency,
- Metallic gray hue to skin or "bronzing" of skin.