Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Importance of Iron

Iron is a mineral that plays several important role in the body. An adequate supply of iron in the blood ensures that oxygen is getting to all body cells. When cells have plenty of oxygen they are best able to convert food into energy that the body can use. So you see, consuming enough iron is vital to an exerciser's energy and overall performance. Iron deficiency anemia is perhaps the most common deficiency in the United States. It affects as many as 58 percent of all females. Besides women, other groups at risk for iron deficiency anemia include adolescents and athletes.

Factors that lead to an iron deficiency in athletes include heavy training, decreased iron absorption, breakdown of red blood cells during exercise, gastrointestinal bleeding, iron loss through awaiting, and inadequate dietary intake. Vegetarians are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency since the iron that plan sources supply is not as readily absorbed as is iron obtained from animal sources. When symptoms of iron deficiency, such as fatigue, are present, a simple blood test is done to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment includes increased dietary iron intake as well as supplementation. 

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