The recommended daily intake for iron is a widely discussed subject and this concern has been a topic which has gained a fair amount of attention in recent times. The only problem here is that obtaining adequate levels of such a vital nutrient can be slightly challenging for those who are unfamiliar with the role that iron plays.
This article will first examine the purpose of iron from a metabolic standpoint. We can then move on to discuss some professional recommendations in order to ensure that you are able to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet.
What Role Does Iron Play Within the Body?
Iron is essentially concerned with three process from a biological perspective:
- The production of hemoglobin (a substance within red blood cells necessary for transporting oxygen).
- Synthesising DNA.
- Muscular maintenance, growth and development.
The main issue here is that some individuals are unable to receive the amounts required in order to maintain homeostasis. As a result, they may begin to suffer from an iron deficiency. This condition can lead to serious health effects if left unchecked.
How Much Iron do I Need on a Daily Basis?
So, how much iron will the average adult require? This partially depends on factors such as age, activity level and gender. There are nonetheless some general guidelines to highlight:
- Daily iron intake for women: 14.8 milligrams per day.
- Daily iron intake for men: 8.7 milligrams per day.
Note that women require more iron than the average male. This is due to the fact that females are at a greater risk of losing iron during menstruation. Furthermore, women who plan on becoming pregnant will need to ensure that the fetus is provided with ample amounts of iron to avoid birth defects such as intrauterine growth restriction. It is also important to mention that the recommended daily intake for iron will decrease for those who are over the age of 50.
How Much Iron Per Day for Anemia?
Let us now assume that an individual has been diagnosed with an iron deficiency. This is referred to as anemia within the medical community. How much iron should be consumed on a daily basis? While it is always important to speak with a nutritionist, most experts agree that doses of between 150 and 200 milligrams are sufficient.
There are various ways in which this dosage can be satisfied. For example, diets high in lean red meat contain a form of iron that is relatively easy to absorb (known as “heme” iron). Certain vegetables such as spinach, sweet potatoes and broccoli are likewise high in iron.
Still, it can be challenging to absorb higher levels when already diagnosed with anemia. This is why iron supplements are often prescribed. These will provide users with the correct quantity and in the majority of cases, issues with absorption can be avoided.
Are There Any Consequences Associated with An Excessive Iron Intake?
While a high iron level is considered healthy, taking too much iron can result in unintended side effects. This is known as “iron toxicity”. Even doses as low as 10 milligrams per kilogram can cause symptoms to exhibit. Levels higher than 60 milligrams per kilogram may even be lethal in some cases. Common symptoms of iron toxicity include abdominal pain, fatigue, adult-onset diabetes and in severe cases, heart failure. It is therefore always important to consult with a physician before enacting any major dietary changes.
Iron: A Vital Mineral for Healthy Adults
On a final note, it is crucial to recall that iron is one of many minerals which are required by the body in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Other chemicals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, sodium, and potassium play equally important metabolic roles.
This is why those who are already beginning to enjoy the benefits provided by the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon should pay even closer attention to the foods that they are consuming (due to an overall lower caloric intake). In other words, losing weight while providing your body with vital nutrients requires a bit of a balancing act. Feel free to refer back to this article in order to appreciate why following the recommended daily intake for iron is so important.