Iron is a mineral essential to the proper functioning of the body. It has a fundamental role in the formation of hemoglobin contained in red blood cells, in the constitution of Myoglobin in muscles and in that of many enzymes indispensable to the functioning of the body.
Iron is present in very small quantities in the body. A part of this railway is eliminated every day. Maintain a sufficient amount of iron, to replace the loss by dietary intakes. If inputs are insufficient compared with the losses, he moved an imbalance with iron deficiency that has consequences on health.
The risk of iron deficiency
Iron deficiency results in anemia, accompanied by a reduction in the physical and intellectual capacity, decreased resistance to infections and pregnancy to an increased risk of small birth weight, morbidity and mortality in infants. In many developing countries, iron deficiency anemia is a serious public health problem that affects half of the women and children in some cases.
There are several degrees of iron deficiency. The most visible iron deficiency is anemia, which may be clinical signs (paleness, shortness of breath, fatigue etc.). However, the diagnosis of iron deficiency occurs mainly by blood tests. In addition to the measurement of hemoglobin, can measure the body through other indicators iron stores and detect disabilities moderate iron.
This is important because outside the anemia, and therefore no apparent signs, iron deficiency can also have a negative impact on health, including a reduction in the physical ability to the effort, decreased intellectual performance, lower resistance to infections, and cause disturbances in pregnancy.
A balance in tenir
The balance of the iron status is highly dependent on the level of iron in the body needs, which vary in life (see recommended iron intake). These needs are highest among:
Children and adolescents because of rapid growth; Women from puberty to menopause, due to the additional iron losses due to menstruation; Pregnant women because of the needs of the fetus and the transformations of the body of the woman.
In fact, iron needs coverage is less easy to realize that one can believe. In France, recent studies have confirmed this problem: for some important population, iron intakes are inadequate because the concentration of iron in the diet is too low. Even in a country of plenty as the France, there are therefore problems of anemia related to nutritional deficiencies.