Iron is a trace element that is involved in essential functions, such as transporting oxygen through the blood to tissue and muscle cells, thus providing energy. The human body is unable to synthesize iron, requiring an external supply through food.


French name : iron Scientific name: iron (Fe)


The recommended daily dose is:
– 10 mg for men
– 15 mg for women (the need increases after menstrual losses or in case of pregnancy)


– Meat, liver, egg yolk, fish, green vegetables (green leaves), dry beans, spirulina (an algae).


– Allows the development and proper functioning of hemoglobin (molecule of red blood cells that fix oxygen) and myoglobin.


 Anemia, pregnancy (since the need for iron increases), premenstrual tension (Read comments), fatigue


– Iron deficiency anemia [typical symptoms: pallor, fatigue, breathing problems], canker sores ,….


– Liver and heart problems, hemochromatosis [caused by serious iron absorption problems, typical symptom: pallor, fatigue. Type 2 diabetes if iron is consumed in the form of red meat or poultry (see also Notes)


– Preparations (medicines) based on iron can cause side effects such as constipation, diarrhea or even stomach ache . Although iron is better absorbed on an empty stomach, it is advisable, in case of side effects, to take iron-based preparations with meals.

– Iron in the form of Fe2+ is better absorbed than Fe3+ (also known as ferric iron).

– Anemia problems can come from a diet that is too low in iron or from a problem with iron absorption.

– An American study published in February 2013 in the American Journal of Epidemiology (American Journal of Epidemiology) showed that the consumption of iron from plant sources reduced the risk of suffering from PMS (premenstrual tension ) by one third. This study involved 3,000 women and lasted about 10 years. Plant-based iron can be found in legumes, leafy greens, dried beans, and spirulina (an algae).
The risk of developing PMS was significantly reduced in women who consumed more than 20 mg of iron per day. The lowest risk was seen in women taking more than 50 mg of iron per day.

However, according to Ms. Bertone-Johnson, who participated in the study, the maximum recommended daily allowance of iron for women before menopause is 18 mg per day.

It is important not to exceed the maximum daily dose of iron to avoid side effects, which can be dangerous for your health.

According to the study’s researchers, iron (and other minerals effective for treating PMS, such as magnesium , zinc and calcium ) can be acquired through the diet or through dietary supplements. The study took into account iron of plant origin and dietary supplements of plant origin (iron not bound to the heme group, a molecule that is bound to iron of animal origin).

Blood test for iron determination
It is interesting to know that it is easy to measure blood iron levels through a simple blood test. Your doctor can check your iron levels in your body (actually ferritin is measured, which is a protein that stores iron, and sometimes another protein is measured, transferrin, which transports iron in your body ) and if it is too low, prescribe food supplements or medicines containing iron, or better yet, make you eat iron-rich foods.

– In some cases, the patient must receive injectable iron (intravenously). These cases are usually reserved for people whose iron absorption is impaired and for people with other illnesses, the doctor will advise you.

– Heme iron: iron of animal origin (meat for example). This iron is better absorbed by the organism than non-heme iron, in the order of 25% or more.
– Non-heme iron : iron of vegetable origin (green leafy vegetables, for example). This iron is not as well absorbed as heme iron, it is estimated that absorption is less than 5%. However, this iron has some interesting properties, for example against premenstrual syndrome. Good advice : to increase the absorption of non-heme iron, intake of vitamin C (e.g. in the form of orange juice
) can increase the absorption of vegetable iron by up to 3 times. It should be noted that vitamin C enhances iron absorption when taken with iron-containing foods at the same meal.
Other foods can, on the contrary, reduce iron absorption, such as coffee (and tea) and some dairy products.

– In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 10 million Americans are iron deficient, just under 3% of the population (2017 data).

– A 2017 study conducted by the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore showed that eating red meat and poultry increased the risk of diabetes (Type 2) . Iron, in the form of heme (heme-iron), found in large amounts in red meat and poultry, explains in part this increase in the risk of suffering from diabetes. No increase in the risk of suffering from diabetes has been observed in those who consume fish or seafood. This study was published on August 22, 2017 in the American Journal of Epidemiology .

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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