The utilization of iron is significantly improved if foods rich in vitamin C are combined with the meal
Iron is essential for your health
Iron is a metal that has been known to mankind since time immemorial. The fact that a period of history was named after him tells us how important it was to ancient civilizations.
There are three to five grams of iron in the human body, of which the greater part (about 70 percent) is bound in hemoglobin and a smaller part in myoglobin (up to four percent) and enzymes (one percent).
Only 0.1 percent of iron constantly circulates in the body bound in the form of transferrin, and the rest is stored in the reticuloendothelial cells of the bone marrow, liver, spleen, and other parenchymal cells as reserve iron in the form of ferritin and hemosiderin. This reserve iron is activated during bleeding or large and sudden needs of the body for iron.
The main task of iron is the transfer of oxygen through the blood from the lungs to all cells, that is, the binding and transfer of carbon dioxide to the lungs, where it is expelled from the body by exhalation.
Oxygen from inhaled air reaches the lung alveoli and passes through their thin walls into the blood, where it binds to iron atoms in hemoglobin. These bonds are labile, so oxygen is easily released into the tissues.
The role of iron in the transfer of oxygen to the cells, where it is used for oxidation processes, is the most important because, without iron, death occurs within just a few minutes.
The most common anemia
It is believed that iron deficiency and the anemia caused by it affect a quarter to a third of the world’s population, mostly the poor who have poor nutrition, which is a global problem. Sideropenic anemia (Greek: síderos – iron) is the most common type of anemia, it develops gradually and has a chronic course.
In the latent phase, there are still no symptoms, which appear only when iron stores are used up. It is manifested by fatigue, lethargy, weakened appetite, reduction of physical strength, and resistance of the organism.
Possible causes of iron deficiency:
- insufficient intake – in infants and small children
- insufficient absorption – due to a lack of gastric acid, in conditions after gastric surgery or chronic diarrhea
- increased needs – in the period of growth and development, pregnancy, breastfeeding
- increased losses – menstrual bleeding, hemorrhoids, erosive gastritis, bleeding from peptic ulcer, urogenital system, or lungs.
Divalent iron is more useful
Since our body cannot synthesize iron, we have to get it through food. Most of the iron in food is in the form of trivalent iron, which, to be absorbed, must be reduced to more usable divalent iron.
An important role is played by vitamin C, which reduces iron from trivalent to divalent form. This is exactly the reason why the utilization of iron is significantly improved if foods rich in vitamin C are combined in the meal.
Of the total iron ingested with food, depending on its form and the body’s needs, only two to 10 percent can be absorbed. For this reason, the World Health Organization has recommended additional intake of iron in the form of a preparation, which can significantly improve the iron status, especially in risk groups.
Due to the low level of resorption of inorganic syntheses, the iron from classic galenic preparations is dosed very high, resulting in unpleasant side effects, due to irritation of the mucous membrane of the digestive system, such as stomach problems, nausea, vomiting…
The result of these unwanted effects is the accelerated expulsion of gastrointestinal contents, at the same time, the rapid expulsion of ferrous ions, and thus the reduction of iron resorption.
A relatively new product, which has been in use since the early eighties of the twentieth century, contains divalent chelated iron, which largely solves the aforementioned problems, and has the following characteristics:
- low dose, and biologically very usable iron
- regular use prevents and suppresses iron deficiency and general weakness of the body
- does not reduce but improves appetite
- is the closest compound to the natural forms of iron binding in the body.
Royal jelly – an ideal combination
Bee products, especially jelly, do not only have a high nutritional value – for humans, they are much more. What we first instinctively feel when we consume jelly is that it is an extremely high-quality food, that is,
an ideal food. If we analyze the composition, we see that it contains everything necessary for the growth, development, and normal functioning of the organism: proteins (structural elements), fats and carbohydrates (energy elements), vitamins (protective substances), and an abundance of diverse and important mineral components for humans, including iron.
The largest amount of iron can be supplied to the body by consuming divalent chelated iron combined with vitamin C, which changes ferric to the ferrous form, the only one that can be absorbed. And royal jelly contains both vitamin C and iron and raises the general condition of the organism to a higher level, additionally increasing the absorption of iron.
Although at first glance it is unimaginable that our life depends on one metal that builds the Earth’s interior, we see that iron is necessary for the main life functions. Its deficiency in the body can have great consequences on human life, which is why it is important to consume it in sufficient quantity, regularly check its values and react in time in case of deficiency.