Iron is an essential trace element that must be provided by the diet. However, the body has some reserves located in the liver and muscles.



Iron plays an important role in the formation ofhemoglobin (present in red blood cells) which is involved in transport of oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also part of the constitution of myoglobin, which stores loxygen in the muscles. Finally, it plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system and nervous system.



The consumption of coffee or tea decreases the intestinal absorption of iron. In case of iron deficiency it is therefore recommended to consume these drinks without meals.



There are mainly two sources of iron: heme iron found only in foods fromanimal origin and non-heme iron that we find in the foods ofvegetable origin. Non-heme iron is much less well absorbed than heme iron.

- The sources of heme iron are: organ meats, liver, red meat, white meat and fish.

- Sources of non-heme iron: legumes (lentils, red beans ...), cereals, algae, oilseeds and chocolate ...



Iron deficiency can be the cause of anemia and lead to chronic fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion or even cardiovascular disorders. The populations at risk of deficiency are mainly the pregnant women, pre-menopausal women and people with intestinal malabsorption disorders. The iron requirements of pregnant women are increased due to increased blood volume, the needs of the fetus, formation of placenta and blood loss during childbirtht. Iron deficiency is therefore common during and after pregnancy and can cause a strong mother fatigue. In the pre-menopausal period, irregular cycles and menstrual losses can also lead to iron deficiency and lead to severe fatigue.


L'excess iron is as bad as its deficiency. In high doses iron becomes oxidizing and can then participate in the aging of cells. Too much iron can also lead to hormonal disorders, musculoskeletal pain, and abdominal pain.



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