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Iron


Iron plays an important role in the production of haemoglobin with protein and copper. It improves the function of enzymes in protein metabolism and enhances the functions of calcium and copper. Iron is necessary for the proper and efficient absorption of calcium and copper.

It is absorbed in the small intestine and stored in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and blood. Iron is needed to metabolise B vitamins.

FOOD SOURCES

Red meat, liver, kidneys, eggs, nuts, seeds and pulses, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, blue cohosh, cheese, cocoa, dates, dried fruit, molasses, seafood, whole grains.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Ferric citrate, ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous salt of gluconic acid, ferrous succinate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron. Can stain teeth in liquid form. The following decrease iron absorption: antacids, milk, tea, coffee, pancreatin, Vitamin E, zinc (large doses). Do not take iron supplements if you have allergic reactions, acute hepatitis, haemosiderosis, haemochromatosis, haemolytic anaemia, recent blood transfusions. Consult your doctor if you have: plans to become pregnant, stomach surgery, peptic ulcer, enteritis, colitis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, alcoholism, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, intestinal disease.

Do not routinely take supplements containing iron in excess of 15mg/day. Excess iron intake creates free radicals in the tissues and blood - ionised atoms and molecules that can cause genetic damage and aging.

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY

Listlessness, heart palpitations, irritability, pale skin, cracking lips and tongue, difficulty swallowing, anaemia and fatigue. Many women of reproductive age have low iron stores, leaving them vulnerable to candida infection. Deficiency may be caused by internal bleeding through ulcers, intestinal polyps or haemorrhoids. Aspirin and alcohol can contribute to iron deficiency. High doses of vitamin E can also interfere with iron absorption.
 
SIGNS OF TOXICITY

Irregular heartbeat, confusion, swollen neck or throat, bloody/black/tarry stools, acne, dermatitis. Large doses can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, anaphylactic shock (ingestion of 2g has been fatal).

 

 

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