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Iron

Slide1“Tired blood”… what is tired blood? It is blood which does not transport sufficient oxygen to the cells to keep physical functions process at optimal efficiency – iron intake does correct this deficiency.

Iron is the main component of hemoglobin, which is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells and carbon dioxide from cells to the lungs. This mineral (iron) is also an essential component of myoglobin, which is a receptor and storage point for some of the oxygen in the muscles. Iron is also essential for the energy production system in our bodies.

Iron losses occur in sweat, hair, lost skin, bleeding and excretion. An average adult man loses about 1 mg. of iron a day; however a woman can lose from 1 to 2 mg. daily. Since iron is mainly stored in blood, during menstruation, injuries and bleeding, meaningful greater amounts are lost.

Iron and Anemia

Anemia is a result of iron deficiency: the quantity of circulating hemoglobin is evidently reduced. The red blood cells become pale, and cannot bring as much oxygen to the cells as might be required. The general symptoms are paleness, weakness, easy fatigability, difficult breathing on effort, headaches, tremor, and stubborn fatigue.

Iron deficiency anemia has been found to weaken the immune system: white blood cells are reduced in their bacteria-killing activity. 

Iron deficiency

Iron insufficiency has been shown to increase the growth of tumors. Iron deficiency also causes deterioration of the periodontal tissue.

Also, as might be expected, an iron deficiency will reduce the body´s ability for work. In one study, performance on a treadmill was found to be proportional to the hemoglobin levels in the blood.

Preschoolers have been found to suffer reduced coordination, equilibrium, attention length, IQ, and retention when anemic. In older children, anemia has been shown to cause poorer learning, reading, and problem solving skills.

SOURCES OF IRON

Natural sources of iron include green leafy vegetables; liver, heart, kidney, lean meats; shellfish, dried beans and fruits, nuts, whole grains and blackstrap molasses.

Some studies have found that the iron used to fortify processed cereals is poorly absorbed.

Iron in mother´s milk is five times more efficiently absorbed than iron in cow´s milk or formula. Assuming a nursing mother has sufficient iron stores, a breasted infant does not need iron supplements.

Resources: The People´s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals: From A to Zinc

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