Iron is found in a variety of plant and animal foods. Iron in animal foods is more absorbable by humans than from plant sources. This is because natural plant sources of iron contain many inhibitors to absorption in the body. For example, tannins in legumes massively block iron absorption in the body.
Causes of iron deficiency
Iron is one of the trace elements that is often lost in the body. Especially in women, due to the monthly loss of blood, there is an enormous iron deficiency that often cannot be compensated for with diet alone. Athletes, too, and especially stop-and-go sports, suffer from micro-bleeding in the tissue, such as at the heel, due to the unnatural movement, which can cause an iron deficiency.
Likewise, the medication list should always be considered when diagnosing iron deficiency. Painkillers, for example, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, which in turn can cause iron deficiency.
What does iron do in the body?
- Component of haemoglobin (red blood cells)
- Central role in the transport of oxygen in the blood
- Central role in acid-base balance
- Component of the respiratory chain and thus jointly responsible for the main energy store of the cells
- Synthesis of the thyroid hormone
Symptoms of iron deficiency
- Heavy menstruation
- Brittle nails
- Iron deficiency anaemia - according to the laboratory
- Rest less legs (as additional therapy)
- Sensation of cold
- Mouth rhagades
Is there a good herbal iron alternative?
The herbal raw material from curry leaf extract offers bound iron with a high bioavailability. Interfering factors, as with many plant sources, are not present here. The curry leaf tree grows throughout the Indian subcontinent. Contrary to what is usually assumed, the curry leaf is not identical with the spice "curry". In a comparative iron absorption test, the curry leaf extract even shows better bioavailability than synthetic iron gluconate.
What should be considered when taking iron?
It should always be taken 1⁄2 h before breakfast or on an empty stomach. If iron deficiency is diagnosed, it is possible to use it in children from the age of 10.
If you would like to learn more about the trace element iron or suffer from iron deficiency yourself, our pharmacists will be happy to advise you in our pharmacies in Vienna or Berlin.