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Iron is necessary for the hemoglobin in blood to carry oxygen to the tissues. It is also necessary for the function of numerous enzymes involved in growth, energy production, and the immune system.
Adequate absorption of iron in the diet requires sufficient stomach acidity (hydrochloric acid), copper, manganese, molybdenum vitamin A, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Certain diseases impair the body's ability to use iron, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, kidney disease, chronic yeast and herpes.
Iron absorption and use are impaired by excessive zinc, phosphorus (carbonated drinks, for example) and vitamin E. They are also impaired with ulcers, prolonged use of antacids, and excess coffee or tea drinking. strenuous exercise and heavy perspiration.
Iron Rich Food:
Foods high in iron include eggs (especially the yolk), fish, liver, meat poultry, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, almonds, avocados, beets, blackstrap molasses, brewer's yeast, dates, dulce, kelp, kidney beans, lima beans, lentils, millet, parsley, peaches, pears, dried prunes, pumpkins, raisins, rice, wheat bran, sesame seeds and soybeans.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms:
Symptoms of iron deficiency include brittle hair, nails which are spoon-shaped or have lengthwise ridges, hair loss, fatigue, pale skin, dizziness and anemia. [Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balsch, JF, Balsch, PA. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York: Avery Publishing Group. 1990] and /or [Nutrition Almanac by Gayla J. Kirschmann, ISBN 0-07-034922-3, 1996]
Deficiency may lead to obstruction of the esophagus (Schatski's Ring) and impair swallowing. [Berkow R, editor. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 2nd ed. Rathway, New Jersey: Merck Research Laboratories;1992 page 746]. More commonly, it leads to iron deficiency anemia. [Berkow R, editor. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 2nd ed. Rathway, New Jersey: Merck Research Laboratories;1992. page 1147]
Mild excess in iron intake creates free radicals, increasing the body's need for vitamin E. Taking iron supplements during an infection may interfere with healing (it may help bacteria grow). [Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balsch, JF, Balsch, PA. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York: Avery Publishing Group. 1990] and /or [Nutrition Almanac by Gayla J. Kirschmann, ISBN 0-07-034922-3, 1996]
The information presented here is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies, clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited. The reported results may not necessarily occur in all cases. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist regarding any health issues before using any supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications.
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