All About Iron
Iron is a mineral that is essential to your health. While it’s present in many foods, it’s common for females to require an additional supplement or source of iron beyond their diets alone. Iron is a critical component of hemoglobin, which is a protein that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. It’s also an essential part of the protein myoglobin that helps to support a healthy metabolism and carries oxygen to muscles throughout the body. While all of your cells contain iron, most of the iron in your body can be found in the red blood cells.
Iron is critical for growth and development, creating energy, transmitting nerve impulses, and the synthesis of some hormones and connective tissue. If your body has more iron than required, it’s able to store the mineral for future use. Though many Americans are able to consume enough iron through what they eat, some situations require individuals to add a supplement to their diet. An iron deficiency is known as iron deficiency anemia and occurs when there’s not enough iron present in your red blood cells. Nearly five million Americans have iron deficiency anemia, common causes include:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding from the extended use of certain medications
- Blood loss
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Cancer in the digestive tract
Common symptoms of anemia include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, headache, low body temperature, and weakness. The following groups of people are more at risk of an iron deficiency and may require an additional supplement.
Women: Women of the reproductive age are at an increased risk of iron deficiency. Due to their menstrual period, women lose an average of a quarter cup of blood each month. Frequently dieting, a diet low in vitamin C, and a diet low in iron can also contribute to an iron deficiency.
Female Athletes: Researchers have found that female athletes are at an increased risk for an iron deficiency. While the exact cause isn’t known, it’s theorized that athletes require more red blood cells to carry oxygen to continue exercising.
Pregnant Woman: The amount of iron that women require increases during pregnancy due to an increase in maternal red blood cell production. A deficiency during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth and low birthweight.
Infants and Young Children: Infants are at a greater risk of an iron deficiency because they require such a high amount of iron to keep up with their rapid growth. Babies and young children are at a greater risk of an iron deficiency when they’re born preterm or their mothers have low iron.
People with Heart Failure: Nearly 60 percent of people with chronic heart failure also have an iron deficiency. Potential causes of an iron deficiency for those with heart failure can include poor nutrition, malabsorption, or the extensive use of aspirin.
The recommended daily allowances for iron vary between age groups and genders. While middle aged men require 8mg, women require as much as 18mg. Common sources of iron include breakfast cereals, white beans, dark chocolate, spinach, lentils, and oysters. Iron is also available in many iron supplements. It’s naturally present in many foods, but also added to some food products. Many multivitamins designed for women will contain 18mg of iron, while those for men will contain little to no iron. Many people with an iron deficiency respond extremely will to iron supplements. Iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach to keep food from limiting the absorption of the supplement.
When adding any supplement to your diet, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the healthy dosage for your body. As your local private label supplement manufacturer, we’re able to help create a supplement that meets your specific needs. Customers can either provide a previously devised formula or request a specific functioning product. At CebaTek, we’re proud to have over twenty years of experience manufacturing labeling supplements for private companies. Our team of technical personnel have a wide variety of knowledge stemming from both extensive industry experience and high levels of education. Our supplements have been proven to achieve a balance in a variety of psychological and medical conditions. To learn more about the process for creating a private label supplement, contact the professionals at CebaTek today!