Interesting to note that Iron is the second most abundant element on Earth after oxygen making up the majority of the outer and inner core and is also one of the most common deficiencies we see.
However, low levels of other essential vitamins and minerals such as zinc, folate, manganese, B6, B12, copper can contribute or lead to anemia or iron deficiencies. It is potentially dangerous to use iron therapeutically for anemia if it is indeed not the cause. Iron toxicity and masking the root deficiencies may occur.
Found mostly in hemoglobin, Fe is also found in smaller amounts in the liver, spleen and bone marrow. The primary function of Iron is the formation of hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen to all our cells. One of the main reasons we hear people switching back to an animal based-diet or heme iron from a non-heme (plant-based diet) is because they are low in iron.
Non-heme iron from plant foods is said to have a substantially lower absorption rate by the body than heme-iron (animal derived), but there are many factors at play that cause the low absorption of this very essential mineral, including but not limited to, excess phosphates, calcium, phytates, coffee, aspirin, antacids and tetracyclines.
Vitamin C, manganese and other essential minerals and vitamins increase the absorption of non-heme iron found in plants. Fortunately, plants contain traces of essential vitamins and minerals in holistically proportionate amounts that contribute to higher absorption rates when they body needs it. As nature intended.
If you are curious to explore how iron is working in your diet or diaita “way of life” please feel free to reach out.