Your Ultimate Guide To Iron
WHO|November 2, 2020
Your Ultimate Guide To Iron
Women’s health expert Dr Penny Adams answers your burning questions
Amber Bramble

WHY IS IRON SO IMPORTANT?

Iron is an essential mineral for our bodies and we get it from food. Most iron is in haemoglobin (in red blood cells), which carries oxygen to the cells in the body. Iron is also needed for our immune system, brain function and the health of hair and nails.

ARE ALL KINDS OF IRON THE SAME?

There are two types of iron found in food: haem and non-haem. Haem iron, which is found in animal products such as meat, chicken and fish, is easily absorbed. Nonhaem iron, found in plant foods such as vegetables, beans, lentils and some fortified cereals, is not as easily absorbed by the body.

HOW COMMON IS IRON DEFICIENCY?

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in Australia and it’s significantly under-diagnosed. Up to 10 per cent of females of child-bearing age are iron deficient. It’s important to distinguish between iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anaemia. The latter develops after a significant period of iron deficiency. Up to 30 per cent of the world’s population has iron-deficiency anaemia.

WHO IS MOST AT RISK?

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November 2, 2020