In this article you will find all the important information about the trace element iron and learn what you can do against an iron deficiency:
Iron deficiency or iron deficiency anaemia is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world.
With iron deficiency, the iron level in the body is too low. This can have devastating consequences. This is because the trace element iron fulfils vital tasks in our body.
Iron is needed for the formation of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the protein in the red blood cells that transports oxygen to the tissues of the body. If a person does not have enough iron in his or her body, an iron deficiency can result, along with fatigue, dizziness, headaches or other ailments.
An adult person has about 3 to 4 g of iron in their body. Iron is constantly excreted by the body, this is quite normal. The normal daily loss of iron occurs through intestinal excretion, skin excretion and sweat secretion and amounts to approx. 1 to 2 mg.
Why is iron deficiency so common?
This is mainly due to one fact: our body constantly loses iron, but cannot produce any itself. It has to be supplied through food.
A deficiency occurs when ...
Increased iron loss occurs when the body loses blood and thus also the important iron.
The cause of iron deficiency due to blood loss can be:
Iron deficiency affects more women than men. This is because iron is also lost from the body in everyday life through menstrual blood and during childbirth.
However, an increased need for iron also arises in certain phases of life or due to lifestyle.
Life phases with increased iron requirements can be:
The body naturally loses a little iron all the time, for example ...
Dietary styles that contribute to iron deficiency, are:
Diseases can also be the cause of iron deficiency. For example, iron absorption is impaired if there are diseases in the gastrointestinal tract or if nutrient absorption is impaired due to food intolerance.
Diseases that contribute to iron deficiencyn, are:
Iron deficiency is particularly common in women during pregnancy because the iron requirement is also increased then.
The reasons for this are:
Since the body needs large amounts of iron for blood formation during pregnancy, special attention should be paid to foods containing iron.
You will find a list below.
You can find more information in the brochure (only available in German, French and Italian)
«Ernährung in der Schwangerschaft» der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft.
During childbirth, the woman loses a lot of blood. This causes the iron supply in the body to drop again.
During breastfeeding, the iron requirement is also increased because the infant absorbs iron through the mother's milk and the mother also needs a lot of iron for herself.
The nutritional needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women change not only with regard to iron, but also with regard to other vitamins and minerals (available only in German, Frech and Italian):
Iron deficiency anaemia increases the risk of premature birth and can lead to growth retardation in the baby.
Scientists have also identified other consequences of iron deficiency during pregnancy.
The body needs iron to make the thyroid hormone, which helps the baby's brain develop properly. An iron deficiency can disrupt the brain development of the unborn child.
"Do I have an iron deficiency?" This is a question many people ask themselves. Especially if you are still exhausted after 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day.
After all, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency. But concentration problems, headaches, pale skin, brittle nails, cracked corners of the mouth and a racing heart under stress are also typical.
An iron deficiency can be determined by a doctor with a blood test.
The doctor examines the so-called ferritin value: this should not be below 50 micrograms per litre of blood.
If necessary, the haemoglobin value is also determined: One speaks of anaemia when the Hb value in women is below 12 g per 100 ml.
The typical symptoms of iron deficiency depend on how advanced it is.
Only one fifth of the iron in the body is stored in depots. The most important iron store is ferritin. In humans, most of the ferritin is found in the bone marrow, spleen and liver.
The greater part of the iron travels with the blood. This is because iron is responsible for the transport of oxygen in the blood.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in children and adolescents worldwide.
For a child or adolescent with iron deficiency without other symptoms, it is recommended that the first thing to do is to adjust the diet of the whole family to ensure iron intake.
However, in a child or adolescent with iron deficiency and growth disorders as well as other symptoms, it is recommended to treat the iron deficiency first and then the other symptoms.
If you suspect iron deficiency in your child, look out for the following symptoms: pale skin, dizziness, headaches, irritability.
If you have iron deficiency symptoms or suspect them in your child, you should consult a doctor. He or she will determine the degree of iron deficiency with a blood test.
It is also important to rule out other diseases that cause similar symptoms.
If there is an iron deficiency, you can discuss the treatment method with your doctor.
Always start the therapy with iron only after the diagnosis by your doctor, so that the cause is clarified.
Depending on the situation, the following form of therapy may be the right one:
An iron-rich diet with the following foods will help you prevent iron deficiency.
They contain particularly high amounts of iron:
Iron supplements are available in the form of:
High-dose iron preparations: Preparations with a high amount of iron are available as medicines from doctors, pharmacists and druggists.
Low-dose iron preparations: Iron preparations are also available as food supplements. In contrast to high-dose preparations, they can be bought without a prescription.
Residual iron may cause a dark discolouration of the stool, but this is not significant.
In the latest dietary supplements, such as the iron sticks from Andreabal, the iron is microencapsulated. This means that it is better absorbed by the body and there is no gastrointestinal irritation.
In this therapy, the iron is infused directly into the blood. This method is used when taking medication is not well tolerated or is not effective enough.
Intravenous treatment is more expensive than taking tablets.
No matter which form of therapy you use, you should be checked again by your doctor after a few weeks.
The need for iron varies depending on age, gender and stage of life.
Take a look at this graph:
The iron requirement is highest during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as the child also needs to be supplied. The legislator recommends up to 30 mg/day in this life situation.
Depending on the phase of life, it therefore makes sense to take an additional iron supplement. A daily intake of 10-15 mg for adults is recommended by the Swiss Society for Nutrition.
It is important to know that only about 10 % of the iron absorbed through food is absorbed in the intestine and thus enters the blood.
Women in particular lose a lot of iron through their monthly menstrual period: Per month, the average blood loss is about 25-60 ml. Every 10th woman even loses over 80 ml, which means a loss of over 40 mg of iron per month (=more than 4 super plus tampons per day)!
Iron can be taken in the morning, at noon or in the evening. Ideally, iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach about one to half an hour before breakfast. This is when the body can absorb the most iron.
If you take iron during the day or in the evening, you should make sure that the last meal was at least one to two hours ago.
Some foods hinder the body's absorption of iron, others promote it. For example, do you need a cup of coffee in the morning to get going? Then you should take your iron dose at least two hours before or after, otherwise your iron deficiency supplements are completely useless.
Coffee contains tannic acid. This binds the iron ions to itself. As a result, the intestine cannot absorb the iron, so it does not enter the bloodstream and is simply excreted again together with the tannic acid.
On the other hand, you can support your body in absorbing iron with drinks containing vitamin C - for example, orange juice.
Therefore, pay attention to when and which foods you have eaten and adjust the intake of your food supplement accordingly.
In the following section you will find a list of foods that have an influence on how well your iron supplement is absorbed.
Iron can be taken in the morning, at noon or in the evening. It is important to know: Certain foods and medicines inhibit iron absorption, others promote it.
Therefore, do not eat or drink the following foods at the same time as taking the iron supplement (right column):
Some foods help the body to absorb iron when you take them together with iron supplements (left column):
Women who menstruate regularly are particularly prone to iron deficiency. But also for growing adolescents or athletes with a high training workload, taking an iron supplement as a preventive measure can be useful.
With the food supplement AndreaFer, a cure of several weeks can be made twice a year.
AndreaFer contains iron (to reduce fatigue), vitamin C (increases iron absorption), folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 (contribute to normal blood formation).
AndreaFer Iron is a food supplement with iron, folic acid, vitamin B6 + B12 and vitamin C.
In case of constant tiredness, fatigue, decreasing performance, an iron deficiency could be present and an additional supply makes sense.
|pro Stick||% NRV |
|Vitamin B6||1,4 mg||100%|
|Vitamin B12||3 μg||120%|
|Vitamin C||80 mg||100%|
Ingredients of AndreaFer.
The following ingredients are contained in AndreaFer:
Sweeteners: xylitol, sorbitol; microencapsulated iron (corn starch, iron (II) phosphate, sunflower lecithin); L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C); raspberry flavouring; acidulant: citric acid; anti-caking agent: silica; pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6); (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, glucosamine salt (folic acid); cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12).
AndreaFer is vegan, without gluten, sugar and lactose!
© Andreabal AG