Iron is a mineral found in every cell of the body. Iron is considered an essential mineral because the human body needs Iron to make the oxygen-carrying proteins haemoglobin and myoglobin. Haemoglobin is found in red blood cells and myoglobin is found in muscles.
The human body will store some Iron to replace any that is lost. However, low Iron level over a long period of time can lead to Iron deficiency anaemia. Symptoms include lack of energy, shortness of breath, headache, irritability, dizziness, lack of concentration, increased risk of infection, or weight loss. Physical signs of Iron deficiency are a pale tongue and spoon-shaped nails.
Taking Iron supplements in the form of Iron tablets, Iron capsules and liquid Iron can correct a deficiency.
The best Iron tablets will contain an easily absorbed form of Iron that is gentle on the stomach and non-constipating.
Those at risk from low Iron level include:
- Women who are menstruating, especially if they have heavy periods
- Women who are pregnant or who have just had a baby
- Long-distance runners
- People with any type of bleeding in the intestines (inflammatory bowel disease, a bleeding ulcer)
- People who frequently donate blood
- People with gastrointestinal conditions that make it hard to absorb nutrients from food
- Babies and young children are at risk for low Iron level if they do not get the right foods
Milk is a very poor source of Iron. Children who drink large quantities of milk and avoid other foods may develop "milk anaemia”. Iron supplements for kids and babies are available.
Children’s Iron supplements include Floradix or floravital, Brauer Kids Liquid Multivitamin with Iron.
Ensure that you only take Iron supplements under the advice of a health professional, as too much Iron can also be harmful.
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