Iron helps our bodies to function effectively, however we don’t naturally produce it. We get the iron we need from our diets or supplementation.

 A healthy adult body contains 4-5mg of iron and uses/loses about 1-2mg per day, so it constantly needs topping up. Iron is lost from the body by shedding of cells from skin and mucosal surfaces, sweat, urine, and hair loss.

In healthy individuals, iron losses are thought to be approximately 1 mg/day in males and slightly more in women because of the additional losses due to menstruation, pregnancy and lactation.

Studies show that only 15% of iron from food is absorbed and so the daily Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) guidance is

Men (19+)                  8.7mg

Women (19-50)       14.8mg

Women (50+)           8.7mg

Learn more about the role iron plays in the body

Learn more about the role iron plays in the body

Learn more about the importance of iron

Learn more about the importance of iron

¹Webster-Gandy J, Madden A, Holdsworth M Ed's (2006) Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics. Oxford University Press, Oxford. *http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/micronutrients/anaemia_iron_deficiency/WHO_NHD_01.3/en/