How much iron is needed

Body iron content is approximately 4.0 and 3.5 g in men and women respectively.

 
 
Body iron content is approximately 4.0 and 3.5 g in men and women respectively. The body has no means of excreting excess iron, thus control of the body iron burden is by regulation of iron absorption. The only way in which iron is lost from the body is from shedding of cells from skin and mucosal surfaces, sweat (0.2–0.3 mg/day), urine (<0.1 mg/day), and hair. In premenopausal women, iron is also lost in menstruation. In healthy individuals, iron losses are thought to be approximately 1 mg/day in males and slightly more in women of child-bearing age because of additional losses due to menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. 

It is assumed that only 15% of dietary iron is absorbed. As a result, the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for  men aged over 19 and women aged 19-50 is 8.7mg/day and 14.8mg/day respectively. The RNI  falls down to 8.7mg/day for women of 50+ years.

 

 

Source: SACN Iron & Health report, published 25 February 2011 from Public Health England

We use cookies to give you the best user experience on our website. Please let us know if you accept our use of cookies.

Learn More

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. We mainly use this information to ensure the site works as you expect it to, and to learn how we can improve the experience in the future. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change permissions. However, blocking some types of cookies may prevent certain site functionality from working as expected 

Strictly necessary cookies

(Required)

These cookies let you use the website and are required for the website to function as expected.

These cookies are required

Optional cookies

These cookies help us understand how people are using the website and how we can improve the website experience. Some of these may be set by third parties we trust.  

The may also be used to personalise your experience by remembering your preferences and settings.