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Iron: Five People Who May Need Extra

Iron is an essential mineral that every person needs to have in their diet. However, the amount of iron required to maintain a healthy body and mind can vary a surprising degree from one person to another. Though a balanced diet rich in lean proteins and fresh vegetables will provide a steady source of iron, many people can benefit from iron supplementation. Here are five great reasons to consider taking an iron supplement. If you think you could benefit from extra iron, consider talking with a doctor or nutritionist. They can help you determine exactly how much is required to get you feeling great.


1. You might need extra iron if you are a woman.

Many people are surprised to discover that women tend to have greater iron needs than men. In fact, women ages 19 – 50 should take in at least 18 milligrams of iron each day. Pregnant women require 27 milligrams each day, and women breastfeeding should get 9 milligrams each day. After age 50, the iron needs of both men and women drop off; it is recommended that people over 50 receive 8 milligrams of iron each day.

2. You might need extra iron if you have health concerns.

There are certain health problems that interfere with the action of iron in your body or prevent its effective absorption. Some conditions, such as anemia, can be effectively managed with regular iron supplements. Iron is a mineral essential to the exchange of blood in the lungs, which carries essential oxygen to all parts of your body. Iron also plays a role in the function of your immune system.

3. Growing children and teens might require additional iron.

Not only does iron help oxygenate your blood and boost your immune system function, it helps build a healthy body. Children under five years of age are growing very quickly and sometimes require a little extra nutrition. Teens, especially teen girls, can also experience a need for supplemented iron intake. Your doctor or pediatrician will be able to help you recognize the signs of iron deficiency and may order some simple blood tests to help determine how much additional iron your child requires.

4. Bariatric surgery patients sometimes require supplementary iron.

Bariatric surgery reshapes the structure of the stomach to regulate the amount of food passing through. Some patients that have undergone a bariatric procedure require nutritional supplementation since the rate of nutrient absorption is disrupted by the new shape of the digestive system. Bariatric patients can be deficient in iron in particular. Even though a patient might be following their doctor’s dietary guidelines to the letter, since a limited amount of food is allowed into the stomach and intestines at a time, there can be less opportunity for the body to access the iron required to maintain healthy function. A supplement delivers an optimal amount of immediately accessible iron to the body and helps provide the recommended daily amount each bariatric patient requires.

5. People suffering from gastrointestinal disorders are likely to require supplementary iron.

Bariatric surgery is not the only factor that impacts a body’s ability to absorb iron from food. A number of gastrointestinal disorders, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease, can significantly impact the absorption of nutrients. Even if a person eats a balanced diet, someone suffering from these and related conditions can miss out on a surprising amount of necessary nutrients. Doctors that work closely with patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders may order diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, to determine just what nutrients are missing from a person’s dietary profile. From there, supplements may be developed. Since some multivitamins and dietary supplements may contain ingredients that are harmful to people with gastrointestinal disorders, working with a doctor to determine exactly which combination is required is very important.

Iron is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in blood oxygenation, immune system function, and body growth and repair. Without it, people can feel listless and weak and may find themselves getting sick more often. Though iron is very important, too much can cause problems, including liver damage and dehydration. A doctor or nutritionist will be able to help you determine if your iron levels are low or if you are suffering from a different nutritional deficit. This information will help you and your doctor determine the best nutritional supplementation strategies.  If you determine that iron supplementation is right for you checkout PurMEDICA's Iron here.