Definition

Iron is a trace element essential to normal body function, notably proper blood oxygenation. Iron deficiency leads to anemia.

Health considerations

Dietary sources of iron can be divided into two varieties: heme and non-heme. Heme is more readily absorbed and is found in animal products; non-heme is less readily absorbed and found in plant products. Vitamin C enhances availability of iron for absorption. Some studies suggest that red meat consumption increases risk of colorectal cancer, though this claim remains controversial.

Keep in mind

Iron requirements vary; supplementation should be undertaken under advice of a medical professional to avoid overconsumption.

May be found in

Red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, beans, tofu, chickpeas, blackstrap molasses, fortified bread, fortified breakfast cereal

References

Science Daily
Cancer Research
Mutation Research
Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention
The National Archives

Alternative Spellings and Names

Ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate, ferrous sulphate

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