April 6, 2017

Health Benefits of Iron | Symptoms of Deficiency

Basic characteristics of iron in the body


Iron is an important mineral for our organism because it participates in the synthesis of the protein hemoglobin, which is important in the transmission of oxygen to every cell in the body. 

Without oxygen there is no cellular life, metabolism, which means that without intermediaries iron, there would be no synthesis of hemoglobin, the red blood cells thus would be empty and vital functions would be endangered.

Besides hemoglobin, iron is part of myoglobin, which binds into the muscles. 

Storehouses of iron in the body are liver, bone marrow and the spleen, which dumps ferritin, a form of iron.

To iron be found in our bloodstream, it is necessary to bring him through food. 

Interestingly, the iron in the food is in the one-valent form, and to the body, more precisely in the intestine, iron transform into a second valence form. 

Also known is the fact that more iron absorbed from foods of animal origin than food of plant origin.


What is the role of Iron in organism?

The main role of iron in the body is the transport of oxygen to all the organs, tissues and cells in the body.


The main role of iron in the body is the transportation of oxygen to all the organs, tissues and cells in the body

In addition, iron has an impact on the growth, development and the sharing of genetic material, in the synthesis of certain hormones, in the metabolic functions, and also builds immune system.

Sources of Iron in Foods


Foods of animal origin rich in iron are:

- Meat (beef, lamb, poultry, horse meat)
- Chicken and turkey meat
- Fish (trout, tuna, sardines, and mackerel)
- Liver and kidneys
- Seafood (octopus, scampi, oysters, clams)

Plant foods rich in iron are:

- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews)
- Legumes (beans, millet, lentils, peas, soybeans)
- Green vegetables (spinach, kale, asparagus)
- Beetroot
- blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red fruit
- Eggs
- Dried apricots
- Oat bran


The degree of utilization of iron from food


The presence of phytate in plant foods (spinach) significantly reduces the absorption of iron in the intestine. The maximum absorption of iron is from meat, fish and eggs.

In order to increase the absorption of iron, it is necessary to enter vitamin C, which helps the absorption of iron.

Also, you should know that during the intake of food rich in iron, or even iron supplements, you should not drink coffee, tea, milk because it significantly impede absorption of iron

These beverages can be administered two hours after a meal or between meals, but not before or immediately after consuming iron rich food or iron supplements.

The existence of gastritis and increased stomach acid reduces the absorption of iron, so one should bring more of bananas, potatoes and rice in order to neutralize the acid.

What are the most common reasons for the lack of iron in the body? 


Perhaps you suffer from gastritis and increased gastric acid secretion? Do you have heavy periods and outflow of blood? Torturing of hemorrhoids or internal bleeding? Keep your diet in which there is no meat? Do you often stay indoors and in dark areas? You have entered menopause or you are pregnant?

All these are some of the possible disadvantages of iron deficiency in the body, which are being seen as the most common. 

However, there are changes at the cellular and metabolic levels, which can also affect the deficit of iron in the body.

What are the symptoms of iron deficiency?


- Weakness, fatigue, apathy
- Pallor, dark circles, constant tiredness
- Depression
- Superficial breathing and fatigue
- Drowsiness, unconsciousness
- Rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure
- Constipation
- Slowed growth in children
- Dry, brittle hair, brittle nails, dry and tired face

We can say these are a nonspecific symptoms and the reliable diagnosis of iron deficiency is revealed by blood analysis.

How is iron deficiency treated?


Lack of iron in the body is treated simultaneously restoring the reserves of this mineral and elimination of the causes that led to the development of the disease. 

Oral dietary supplements of iron are used for increasing the level of iron in the blood and so call "Stuffing tissue reservoirs" and must be continuously entered several months, with a diet rich in iron and dietary supplements based on vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc and copper which will increase its absorption. 

In more serious cases, on the other hand, treatment requires the application of parenteral iron supplements or even blood transfusions.