Iron is gray, heavy, and hard, a metal that we use for strength and durability. But it is also a mineral found in the human body, and one that is vital to our existence.
What Is Iron?
If you’ve ever had a split lip, you’re familiar with the slightly metallic taste of blood. That’s thanks to iron. Iron is the central component of the red blood pigment hemoglobin, which makes up red blood cells. When we inhale, hemoglobin carries oxygen from our lungs to tissues in our body; it then returns carbon dioxide from tissues back to our lungs to be expelled when we exhale. In other words, iron supports the transport of oxygen throughout our body and thus plays an important role in supporting our overall health.
Why Our Bodies Need Iron
Iron is an essential mineral to consume through our diet. Without enough iron, we cannot make hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron is essential for delivering oxygen to all of our tissues and cells so that they can produce energy. It plays a role in our antioxidant systems, and is necessary for the cytochrome enzymes in our liver to be able to process drugs, caffeine, and hormones.
The body cannot produce its own iron, so we must supply our bodies with iron from our diet. Iron can be found in both animal-based foods and plant-based foods, each with their own benefits. Some foods that are high in iron include: oysters, pumpkin, eggs, brown rice, lentils, mushrooms, spinach, quinoa, turkey, and beef.
Plant sources of iron (known as non-heme iron) are ideal for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and typically have slightly lower levels of iron content per serving. Animal-based iron sources are a combination of non-heme and heme iron. Heme iron itself is generally easier to absorb; however, the majority of our iron intake is non-heme iron.
Should You Consider Adding an Iron Supplement?
Iron deficiency may be more common than you realize. Some publications have reported that approximately 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron.
Iron supplements can be used to help reverse low iron levels or treat iron deficiency anemia. Iron supplements are particularly helpful for people that struggle to get adequate amounts of iron through their diet alone.
What Makes Floradix® Iron Supplements Different?
Floradix iron supplements include the best-selling natural liquid iron supplement in the US today, Floradix® Iron + Herbs.† They may help people experiencing iron deficiency, as they have been reported to support the formation of healthy red blood cells.* Floradix iron supplements have been trusted by customers for decades, as they are gentle to digest and easily absorbed—conventional iron supplements often are not. Floradix iron supplements also offer these additional benefits:
- Free of artificial additives, synthetic preservatives, alcohol, and lactose
- Kosher, non-GMO, and vegetarian
- Environmentally friendly packaging
- Available in multiple formats to fit your lifestyle, including liquids, tablets, and a vegan, yeast-free, and gluten-free formula
Precautions for Iron Supplements
It is recommended that before you begin supplementing with iron, you should have your iron levels tested via blood testing to verify if you are in fact deficient and in need of supplementation, and if so, what dose of iron you should be taking in supplement form.
After you begin supplementing with iron, you should also have your iron levels re-checked every three to four months to note changes in your iron levels, and to know if you need to discontinue use once your iron levels are within a healthy range. This is an important step, as too much iron can actually cause adverse side effects in the body and potentially make you feel unwell.
- Nielsen, P.: Diagnostics and therapy of iron deficiency with and without anemia (Bremen 2016).
- Schrezenmeier, H.: Iron Deficiency Anemia (Stuttgart 2011).
- Schümann, K. et al.: Risks and benefits of iron supplementation: Recommendations for iron intake viewed critically, in: Perspectives in Medicine (2014).
† SPINS Vitamins & Minerals Iron: Natural Channel 13 Quads End 2020-Dec-27