Iron

What is iron and why do we need it?

Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Having too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen.

Iron is a part of many enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Enzymes help our bodies digest foods and also help with many other important reactions that occur within our bodies. When our bodies don’t have enough iron, many parts of our bodies are affected.

Substances that increase iron absorption:

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C occurs naturally in vegetables and fruits, especially citrus. Ascorbic acid can also be synthesized for use in supplements. Ascorbic acid enhances the absorption of nutrients such as iron.    In studies about effects of ascorbic acid on iron absorption, 100 milligrams of ascorbic acid increased iron absorption from a specific meal by 4.14 times.

Enhancers of iron absorption: ascorbic acid and other organic acids.

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