In nutrition, Iron is one of the dietary mineral the body needs to make the proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells where two-thirds of iron is stored and myoglobin is found in muscles. Thus, iron is an essential component of proteins involved in oxygen transport.
 Food Sources
Excellent Sources of iron are clams, pork Liver, oysters, chicken liver, mussels, beef liver, enriched breakfast cereals, cooked beans and lentils, pumpkin seeds and blackstrap Molasses. Good sources are beef, shrimp, sardines, turkey, canned beans, baked potato, enriched pasta and canned asparagus
 Iron Deficiency
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers iron deficiency the number one nutritional disorder in the world. There could be at least 80% of the world's population that are iron deficient, while 30% may have iron deficiency anemia.
Iron Deficiency Anemia is an advanced stage of iron depletion, it occurs when storage sites of iron are deficient and blood levels of iron cannot meet daily needs. Also, blood hemoglobin levels are below normal.
Signs and Symptoms of Anemia
- feeling tired and weak
- decreased work and school performance
- slow cognitive and social development during childhood
- difficulty maintaining body temperature
- decreased immune function, which increases susceptibility to infection
- glossitis (an inflamed tongue)
 Recommended Daily Dosage
 Children under 18 years of age
- Infants 7 - 12 months: 11 mg daily
- Children 1 - 3 years: 7 mg daily
- Children 4 - 8 years: 10 mg daily
- Children 9 - 13 years: 8 mg daily
- Male children 14 - 18 years: 11 mg daily
- Female children 14 - 18 years: 15 mg daily
Note: It was advised not to give iron supplements to infants or children under 18 unless under the supervision of a doctor.
- Male 19 - 50 years: 8 mg daily
- Female adults 19 - 50 years: 18 mg daily
- Adults 51 years and older: 8 mg daily
- Pregnant females ages 14 - 50 years: 27 mg daily
- Nursing females ages 14 - 18 years: 10 mg daily
- Nursing females ages 19 - 50 years: 9 mg daily
Note: Too much iron is toxic to the human body and can lead to iron poisoning.