By Sally Wisbey, Nutritionist
Iron is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin. This is the principal carrier of oxygen throughout the body and is responsible for the dark red shade of our blood.
One of the most important functions of iron is to transport oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues, along with carrying carbon dioxide away from tissues. This is a vital function as oxygen is required by each cell in the body.
Healthy immune system
Iron is necessary for providing a healthy strong immune system to fight against disease and infection. Red blood cells are necessary for providing oxygen to damaged cells and without iron this process would be compromised.
Iron is a vital source for muscle health and helps carry oxygen to the muscle cells which helps with muscle contraction and keeping the tone and elasticity of the muscles.
The brain requires oxygen to function so lack of iron can affect brain health and its functions leading to cognitive impairment.
Iron plays an important role in body temperature regulation so constantly feeling cold could mean low iron levels.
If you do not have enough iron in your diet then your body can't make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells which can affect how efficiently your body uses energy. This can lead to fatigue, mentally and physically. For those who can't get their iron requirements from dietary sources alone could consider taking a natural food iron supplement like SPATONE.
SPATONE contains SPATONE iron rich water sourced from the Welsh mountains of Snowdonia National Park - which can help top up iron levels whilst causing fewer of the unpleasant side effects often experienced with conventional iron food supplements[i]. Generally, iron is a very difficult mineral for the body to absorb. However, the iron naturally present in SPATONE has been shown to be easily absorbed, with an average of 40% bioavailability[ii]. Food and iron food supplements typically have a 5-20%[iii] bioavailability.
Neurotransmitter synthesis Iron is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. These carry messages from one nerve to another and are used in a lot of roles throughout the body. Skin, hair and nail health Lack of iron can affect the health of your skin, hair and nails. A deficiency can be linked to dry skin, split hair ends and brittle nails. Anaemia prevention Women are more at risk of becoming anaemic because of monthly menstruation. Each red blood cell that is lost must be replaced so it is important that iron levels are increased during a women's monthly cycle.
There are also other factors such as too much iron can be dangerous/toxic, certain foods affect absorption and certain nutrients e.g. B12 are required for absorption. People should not be advised to take iron unless they have had their levels tested.
[i] McKenna D, Spence D, Haggan SE, McCrum E, Dornan JC, Lappin TR. (2003) (2003). CLINICAL AND LABORATORY HAEMATOLOGY
[ii] Nelsons Nutritional Study - The significant impact of Spatone on Iron (2009)
[iii] Webster-Gandy J, Madden A, Holdsworth M Ed's (2006) Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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