Iron is critical for optimal health because it is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. If you do not get an adequate amount of oxygen in your body, you will become fatigued. Iron is also necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails. Iron is especially important for pregnant women and needed to make extra blood for the mother and baby.
Iron is the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States. If you think you may be iron deficient, check with your doctor to have your iron levels tested. Symptoms of iron deficiency include: shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, fatigue, decreased immunity, and severe cases can cause difficulty in swallowing.
It is difficult for adults to overdose on iron just from food and supplements, because adult bodies have the ability to regulate the amount of iron it absorbs. However, children are at risk of overdose and can be very toxic to their body. For this reason, it is important to keep iron supplements out of reach of children. Symptoms of iron poisoning include: severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and bloody stool in children.
Recommended Daily Intake
Adult men should consume 8 mg of iron per day, and women should consume 18 mg per day. For women that are pregnant, it is recommended to consume 27 mg per day.