Iron has been recognized as an important element in the diet dating back further than any other mineral. Unfortunately many persons are exposed to inorganic iron; an unwanted substance by the body. The good and the bad are both expressed in this post. The function of iron in the blood is to carry oxygen to the tissues in the body. It is the center of the hemoglobin molecule where it accepts oxygen, and metabolizes it into oxygenated blood. Modern agricultural procedures have promoted iron deficiency in plants and may be the most prevalent of mineral shortages. Among the human population iron ranks the highest as a deficient state of health. Iron is the main contributor to anemia over the deficiency of B12 and folic acid. Other elements required for building blood include copper, calcium, vitamin E, and C and B vitamins, along with adequate protein.
Absorption Enhancers and Inhibitors
Like all other minerals, the amino acids in protein promote absorption and carrying iron throughout the system. Certain organic acids like citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) have shown to enhance its availability to the body.
The phytic acid in grains and other plants can have an inhibiting effect on its absorption.
Medications can Reduce Iron in the Body
Certain drugs have shown to lower or interfere with the mineral iron. Examples include: tetracycline, aspirin, ibuprofen, methyldopa, carbidopa, naproxen, oral contraceptives, sodium bicarbonate, AZT, magnesium hydroxide, penicillamine, warfarin, and thyroid hormones. To err on the side of safety, search out any complications or contraindications with all medications; especially those routinely taken.
Iron: Inorganic and Organic
Inorganic iron is not a recommended source of iron for the human body. This form of iron is a metallic element being gray in color. Once oxygen and moisture come in contact with the element iron, rust develops. Unfortunately this form of iron is not useable by the human body. Cooking in iron pots and pans absorbs inorganic iron.
Iron can only be utilized in the form that is metabolized by a plants structure, rendering it biochemically available to the body. Chlorophyll is the green juice in plants and has a similar matrix to the hem portion of the hemoglobin. Chlorophyll is an excellent source of useable iron to the human body and animals. Iron and oxygen are actually inseparable in the body in their functions. The problem is created when there are not enough reserves of iron in the body and therefore oxygen cannot be assimilated.
Excess Iron Problems
There are more symptoms associated with an excess of iron than one might imagine. Drug injections of iron can have a damaging effect on the kidneys since they have to try and excrete this metallic form of iron. I will list several examples but there are many more.
* Too much iron can lead to too much blood. This circumstance would center around an exaggerated iron intake. A series of metabolic events takes place resulting in an overabundance of blood, creating high blood pressure which can cause arteries to rupture. The blood becomes too thick adding a number of problems; one being the brain is put under tremendous pressure.
High blood pressure
Alters blood chemistry
Dilated blood vessels
Higher pulse rate
Muscle contraction, including the heart
Iron Deficiency Conditions and Inherent Weakness
The way in which a lack of iron impacts the body’s systems and functions is extensive. The difficulty in finding all the related imbalances associated with this problem would not be time sensitive. If you are unsure of your iron or B12 and folic acid levels, have a blood test performed to gauge your nutritional requirements. If your problem is an inherent weakness, you must always monitor your iron or B12 dietary needs and not slack for prolonged periods of time. Ebbs and flows of necessary nutrients will not support a person adequately to maintain optimum daily performance. This also applies to any extra or singular element that is not being up taken sufficiently by the body or is missing. In times of fatigue or persistent stress, either from an ongoing illness or day to day circumstances; the nutritional needs of the body, especially the “glands, organs and nervous system,” will require extra quality nutrition to keep up with the demands being put upon it. Consider extra supplementation during these times.
Iron deficiency aggravates many existing problems as noted with a few examples, such as asthma, bronchia ailments, neurosis, skin problems, pain, hemorrhoids, insomnia, vertigo, bladder disorders when associated with anemia; itching and burning or tingling in parts of the body may indicate a need for more iron and even organic sodium.
Iron Deficiency Promotes
Low blood pressure
Vulnerable to colds
Depression and apathy
Low oxygen levels
Spitting up blood
Rectal and anal problems
Prolapsed female organs
Foods High in Iron
The first seven items listed are higher iron sources than most other foods with exception to animal protein and herbs. Liquid chlorophyll is not a food but a whole food supplement; however I am listing it because it is wonderful for anemia as an iron supplement. Dried fruit is very high in iron but I do not advocate eating allot of dried fruit unless it has been reconstituted. Beware that dried fruit has a very high sugar concentrate and only unsulphured dried fruit should be eaten.
High Iron Source
Dark Leafy Greens
Fish and fish roe
Good Iron Source
Greens in general
Lima beans, dried
Pinto beans, dried
Red beans, dried
Red Peppers, hot
White beans, navy
White Kidney, dried
Copyright © 2015 – All Rights Reserved – Michelle Honda Ph.D.
While close attention was given to the accuracy of information in this article, the author accepts neither responsibility nor liability to any person with respect to injury, damage, loss or any circumstances involving alleged causes directly or indirectly related to the information in this article. The sole purpose is to educate and broaden ones awareness. This information is not meant to replace medical advice or services provided by a health care professional.