Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, a component of the red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Oxygen is required for combustion of nutrients in the tissues. This is energy is released. In addition the iron supports immune system and contributes to our energy supply. There are several types of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron.

Where is it in?
Heme iron is found in animal products such as meat (were), non-heme-iron in plant products, such as potatoes, bread and vegetables.

On the page ' where's the? "is even more information on iron resources and the contribution of these sources to the recommended daily allowance.

How much do I need?
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) iron is dependent on age and gender. Women need more iron than men by the loss of iron in menstruation. Women during pregnancy also have more hardware needed for the formation of the placenta and the development of the child.

The recommended amount for adult men (22-50 years) is by the Health Council on 11 milligrams, for adult women at 15 milligrams.

An overview of the iron need in the different stages of life can be found at ' how much do I need? '.

What factors affect the absorption of iron?
The absorption of iron is affected by different physiological and nutritional factors.

Physiological factors
The physiological factors (life factors) that affect the absorption of heme and non-heme iron are the iron stores in the body and the iron need. When the physical inventory is low, is there more hardware included. The iron need is among other things depending on the age, gender and iron status. At a higher need is more hardware included. This is the case, for example, in children younger than 3 years. Other groups with a higher need and therefore a higher recording are young adult girls, menstruating women and pregnant women. The presence of anemia also causes a higher absorption of iron.

Dietary Factors
Several factors in the diet affect the recording of heme and non-heme iron. Coffee, tea and calcium reduce absorption of both heme iron as non-heme iron. Meat, fish and vitamin C increase the absorption of non-heme iron.

Heme iron is on average 3 x better than non-heme iron absorbed by our bodies.

What is safe?
The Health Council has the maximum safe dose for iron set at 50-75 mg iron/day. This corresponds to 2.5-3.5 pounds of steak. At the safe dose is an average value, with a wide margin is taken. This means that one-time or short-term non-compliance with the maximum safe dose no direct danger.

For people suffering from ijzerstapelings disease (hemochromatosis) is no maximum safe dose.

What are the effects of too much iron?
A too high iron content in the body can lead to chronic fatigue or damage to organs such as the liver, intestines and heart.

What are the consequences of a lack of iron?
When iron deficiency can complaints such as dizziness and a reduced ability to concentrate. A clear iron deficiency leads to anemia (anemia).

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