Stage one — deficiency of iron by the body at the end of the day.
Stage two — deficiency of iron by the body before dinner time.
Stage three — deficiency of iron by the body throughout the day.
How much iron should I get?
In an average week, about 8 percent of the total calories in adults will come from iron. An average person should get around 20 to 60 mg of iron in each week. (If you get that much, and can actually absorb it, a meal is a great addition to the night of healthy eating.)
Iron is essential because it is an essential component of the B complex (vitamin B6), a critical mineral needed for the formation of red blood cells. In fact, vitamin B6 is the only vitamin needed for the proper function of the body.
You can find the recommended daily amount of iron for pregnant women and breast-fed babies on the Vitamin A Database. This gives you an idea of how much you should get every day to meet your daily needs.
Do not get more than 2.5 times your daily recommended amount of iron. The amount of iron, as well as the total amount is very sensitive to the exact way you eat. For example, taking iron supplements at once and eating less often — such as 3 times a day — is not recommended.
Iron is a well-known contributor to the deficiency in vitamin B-6. For many people, taking iron supplements may be an excellent idea, but this is only a suggestion, and not an established fact. The truth is that not enough people have adequate amounts of iron in their diets.
Iron status is affected both by the intake of food and by the use of supplements.
Because iron is used in the normal metabolism of many foods, people that have a low iron status due to other reasons need to supplement with iron.
If you are not eating enough iron, your body will need a lot more to maintain optimal health. The same is true for people who have iron deficiency. They need iron in a proportion of 0.6 mg per day to maintain optimal health.
The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults consume about 2.5 to 4 mg of iron per day. The amount of iron in milk can be increased by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B-12, although the amount you need will be different depending on what the calcium in your diet is.
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