Applications: Essential for the production of hemoglobin and red blood cell oxygenation, iron is essential for anemia, stamina, and healthy immune systems. An iron deficiency can cause pallor, hair loss, brittle nails, dizziness and anemia. Rheumatoid arthritis and cancer can contribute to iron depletion causing anemia. Excessive menstrual bleeding, ulcer, and poor digestion can result in iron depletion.
Sources: Animal products contain heme iron which is much more useful than plant sources of iron which contain the nonheme iron compound. Meat and dairy products are the best heme sources. Dark green leafy vegetables contain nonheme iron.
Interactions: Taking an excess of calcium, zinc or magnesium can interfere with the absorption of iron. Vitamin C enhances absorbtion. Several herbal compounds can also interfere with iron absorption.
Recommendations: Ferrous sulfate and fumarate are nonheme iron supplements and are not absorbed as well as heme iron, although ferrous succinate is a better choice.