Iron is another trace mineral which is essential for correct functioning of the human body, even the Egyptians were aware that a shortage could lead to anemia. It is the iron present in our bodies which leads to the hemoglobin in our blood being red in color.

Iron is required for correct muscle function and is stored in the liver, spleen, bone-marrow and muscle. It boosts energy levels and improves physical performance.

Good natural sources of iron are shellfish, wheat bran, cereals, dried fruits, offal, brewer’s yeast and cocoa powder.

Symptoms of a deficiency of iron can include:

  • Anemia
  • Tiredness
  • Breathlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Palpitations

Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, athletes and vegetarians may all require increased levels of iron. Supplements will be prescribed where necessary by a doctor and the normal maximum dosage is 15mg daily unless under close supervision.

Excess iron can cause constipation and diarrhea and in extremely high doses even death although this is highly unlikely.

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