Feeling a bit under par? Not reaching your personal bests at the gym? You may be surprised to know that this could be because you are short of iron. Iron isn't just essential for playboy Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies - it's essential for all of us. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, whether you live in New York, New Delhi or Dakar.
Why do we need iron?
Iron is essential for health. Our bodies use iron to make red blood cells, skin, hair and nails - all of which are constantly being replaced - as well as muscles and hormones. Iron is also important for the way our nerves communicate with each other.
Did you find this information useful?
- Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition Iron and Health Report; Public Health England, February 2011
- Micronutrient Deficiencies, Iron Deficiency Anaemia; World Health Organization
- Iron Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet; Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
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- Hoppe M, Onning G, Berggren A, et al; Probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v increases iron absorption from an iron-supplemented fruit drink: a double-isotope cross-over single-blind study in women of reproductive age. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28 114(8):1195-202. doi: 10.1017/S000711451500241X.