Should You Supplement With Iron?

iron deficiency2Are you feeling too exhausted to get off the couch? Catching every cold that’s going around? It could be iron deficiency. Women are more likely to be low in iron during their reproductive years, but don’t rule out the troubles of a deficiency if you are older or of the opposite sex. Iron deficiency can affect men or women of any age.

Iron is required to produce hemoglobin in our red blood cells. Red blood cells, via hemoglobin, carry oxygen through your cells to every part of your body and organ systems. If your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, a condition called anemia can result. Anemia affects over 3 million Americans. Continue reading “Should You Supplement With Iron?”

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All About Trace Minerals, Starting With Iron

iron-spinachNext in our series A to Zinc, we look at trace minerals. Trace minerals, or microminerals, are required in far smaller amounts (less than 100 mg/day) than macrominerals. Each has a specific biochemical function in the human body. There are 17 microminerals, and arguably the most well-known and supplemented is Iron.

Iron plays a key role in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, a protein which takes oxygen from hemoglobin and stores it in the tissues until it is needed. It also assists in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for cellular energy and proper cell functioning; Continue reading “All About Trace Minerals, Starting With Iron”

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What is Iron Deficiency? Do You Have It?

iron-deficiencyAre you feeling too exhausted to get off the couch? Catching every cold that’s going around? If you’re a woman, you could be iron deficient.

Iron deficiency occurs more frequently in women than in men. Menstruating women lose iron every month, and pregnant women need to supply extra iron to their babies. This is why men’s iron levels are usually okay while women are often playing catch-up.

Other causes of iron deficiency include blood loss due to ulcers, cancer, hemorrhoids or long-term aspirin use. Continue reading “What is Iron Deficiency? Do You Have It?”

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Tired? It May Be Anemia

fatiqueDid you know that anemia is the most common form of malnutrition found in women of all ages? Anemia is caused by reduced levels of hemoglobin, which is the iron-containing protein that is responsible for delivering oxygen to the cells. When hemoglobin is low, the body is unable to burn off the sugar to produce energy.

Symptoms are varied and ranging and can include, weakness, vertigo, headache, tinnitus, spots before the eyes, loss of libido, amenorrhea, drowsiness, irritability and sometimes changes in behavior.

There are different types of anemias, and the treatment depends on its cause and severity.

 

  • Aplastic anemia is a rare condition characterized by low levels of red and white blood cells and platelets.
  • Hemolytic anemia occurs because red blood cells are destroyed in the liver and spleen faster than they are produced.
  • Pernicious anemia relates to a decreased body store of vitamin B12. Vegetarians are more prone to develop B12 deficiency because this nutrient is found primarily in animal protein.  Continue reading “Tired? It May Be Anemia”
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How to Boost Iron for Vegetarians

Last week I wrote about the powerful antioxidant potential when you combined ellagic acid and quercetin. This week’s dynamic duo is targeted toward vegetarians: iron and vitamin C.

Getting enough iron for vegetarians can be difficult. If your diet is mostly plant-based, you probably rely on tofu, legumes and spinach to get the iron you need. These are all iron-rich foods, however, your body actually only absorbs about 20% of the iron found in plants (non-heme iron). The solution: vitamin C.  Vitamin C triples the bioavailability of non-heme iron  by changing it to a more absorbable form called ferrous iron.

Iron is an essential mineral and its most important job is to carry oxygen throughout the body. Without enough of it, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia – and is perhaps one of the reasons you may be feeling exhausted. So make sure that you if you rely on veggies or legumes for your iron source, you are combining them with some foods rich in vitamin c.  Continue reading “How to Boost Iron for Vegetarians”

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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