Thank you for your request and concern regarding the amount of iron as needed in a person’s body.
The average need for this mineral is 8-12 milligrams. Many people do not know the functions of minerals and vitamins for their bodies.
Iron is a nutrient that is needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component or red blood cells. Red blood cells circulate throughout the body to deliver oxygen to all cells. Without enough iron, the body cannot make enough red blood cells to keep you in good health. When the body does not have enough red blood cells, body tissues and organs will not get the oxygen they need to function.
Iron deficiency can effect growth and may lead to learning and behavioral problems.
Signs of too little iron can be weakness, fatigue, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, irritability, decrease in appetite and dizziness.
Iron is a vital mineral. Always check with a doctor if one observes any of these symptoms. There are tests that can be given that will show the lack of iron.
The best food sources of iron are:
Red meat (especially liver);
Enriched grains (cereal) Most are iron fortified: that means that chemist have added iron;
Fish (Tuna, salmon); and
Dried beans and peas.
Barbara Carter is a veteran nutritionist in Rome who writes the Food for Thought nutrition column for Health Quest.