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19 November 2018

How is iron absorbed by the body?

SPONSORED: Fatigue is one of the more common symptoms of anaemia, which can be caused by iron deficiency.

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Iron in our bodies

Having enough iron depends on how much of this mineral we consume. We do, however, need to know what form of iron we're ingesting. 

Iron in our diets or supplements come in different forms:

Diet

There are two forms of iron found in our food: haeme iron and non-haeme iron.

Haeme iron is mainly found in meat, poultry and fish and is well absorbed by the body.

However, non-haeme dietary iron, found in plant-based foods such as grains, beans, nuts, seeds and some vegetables and fruit, is not as well absorbed.

Supplements

When supplementing, look for a ferrous form of iron as it is better absorbed.4

Therefore: Ferrous (Fe2+) iron is preferred in supplements

Reference:

4. Iron deficiency anaemia. Mayo Clinic. Accessed on August 2018. Available on: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anaemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355034 .

 
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