Iron is a mineral that is important for a variety of functions in our bodies. Most of the iron is needed for oxygen transport and is found in the red blood cells. It is needed for the normal development of the brain and for the function of the immune system. It also has a great impact on many enzymes in the body. Iron deficiency is common, especially among menstruating women. Food contains two types of iron with different abilities to be absorbed into the body, Iron II (so-called heme Iron) and Iron III (so-called non-heme Iron). Iron deficiency can have many serious effects in the body but even too high levels are dangerous. It is therefore very important to take a blood sample before it is established that you have an iron deficiency and decide to take iron supplements.
Iron deficiency is common, especially in menstruating women. The levels of iron are generally low in this specific target group, but also in female long-distance runners, anorexics and women of fertile age. It can also be seen that during heavy physical exertion, the red blood cells break down, which affects the iron levels in the body and can result in poorer performance because the body can then not be optimally oxygenated. A common symptom of iron deficiency is general fatigue, where the fatigue is due to the red blood cells needed to oxygenate the body’s tissues shrinking, similar to physical performance. Another sign of iron deficiency is increased susceptibility to infection as iron is essential for the function of the immune system. Depression is also common in deficiency because the brain’s neurotransmitter is negatively affected at low levels of iron.
Iron II (Heme Iron) harmful to the body in excessive doses
Iron II, so-called Heme Iron, can be easily absorbed into the body and is found in animal products such as red meat and organ meat. The disadvantage of Heme Iron is that the body always absorbs this iron regardless of whether the body needs it or not. Extra Heme Iron for those who do not suffer from iron deficiency can be harmful to the body and have many negative health effects, such as an increase in the harmful free radicals and an increased degree of inflammation in the body. Excessive iron intake can also lead to copper deficiency and liver damage.
Iron III (non-Heme Iron) difficult for the body to absorb
Iron III is most often referred to as non-Heme Iron. This type of iron is found in fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, spinach, whole grains and legumes. The body has difficulty absorbing this type, but together with vitamin C, iron III is converted to iron II, which increases the body’s uptake. Coffee, tea and some vegetables impair iron absorption, both from Heme Iron and non-Heme Iron.
How the Iron Deficiency Test works
The test is performed via a so-called capillary blood test at home, which means that you will do a prick in your finger and squeeze out blood that you drip into a test tube. The sample is then sent to our lab for analysis. You will receive your result digitally as soon as our lab has analysed your sample.
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