- IRON SUPPLEMENTS
Iron is a constituent of hemoglobin molecules which are vital for the proper functioning of red blood cells. A deficiency of iron can lead to depletion of iron stores and result in iron-deficiency anemia.
Iron exists in two forms
Iron is absorbed mostly in the duodenum in the ferrous form (Fe2+). Iron contained in Hemoglobin is also in the ferrous form; however iron can also exist in the ferric form (Fe3+). In other to be able to absorb this form of iron, it must be reduced to the ferrous form. Thus reducing substances like ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and also gastric acid (HCl) increase the absorption of Iron. Heme can also be absorbed by the body directly.
Daily requirement of iron:
Adult Male:- Around 10mg
Menstruating female:- 15 – 20mg
Pregnant women:- Around 25mg
Sources of iron
Liver, beans and dry fruits are good sources of iron, while milk and its product are poor sources.
Side effects of over consumption of Iron:
Iron overload and Iron toxicity can also occur from consuming too many iron supplements.
Acute iron poisoning can occur in children due to accidental intake of a large number of iron tablets. The antidote of acute iron poisoning is desferrioxamine. It is given intramuscularly. DTPA and calcium disodium EDTA may also be used but dimercaprol (BAL) is contraindicated because its complex with iron is itself toxic.
For chronic iron overload, as occurs in thalassemia patients, oral chelating agents like deferiprone is preferred.
Researchgate, Womens Edge