Think of iron like a courier, and oxygen like the packages we order online. The courier picks up packages from a distribution centre, loads it onto trucks, and transports it to our homes. If there are not enough couriers working to keep up with the demand for deliveries, we do not receive our packages on time.
In the same way, iron picks up oxygen from the lungs, loads it onto red blood cells, and transports it to every cell in the body. Once our cells receive oxygen, they use it to make the fuel that allows our bodies to function. If we do not have enough iron to carry oxygen to our cells, we are not able to make energy, and we feel tired.
Low iron can cause more than just fatigue. When our cells are deprived of oxygen, every action in the body is affected, from our brain to our toes. This is why low iron can cause wounds to heal slowly, muscle weakness, difficulty with concentration and memory, depression, headaches, hair loss, and weaken our immune system1. Iron deficiency also results in poor cognitive development, behavioural concerns, and ADHD in children2.
The best way to understand your iron status is by having a blood test to measure something called ferritin, which is our iron storage. The tricky part about this test is that in Canada, “normal" ferritin in adults is defined as falling within the range of 5-272 ug/L. Since this is a wide range, you can imagine that someone with a ferritin of 7 ug/L would feel very different from someone with a ferritin level of 200 ug/L.
In fact, research shows that iron supplementation can be beneficial for people experiencing fatigue, even in cases where ferritin is not low enough to cause anemia. Dr. Hilary suggests aiming for a ferritin of 70-100 ug/L so that the body has enough iron to function in an optimal way.
Some groups of people are likely to have low iron, including:
- Vegans and vegetarians- Women with heavy periods- During pregnancy and breastfeeding- People lacking a nutrient-rich diet- Children with behavioural concerns or ADHD- People experiencing fatigue, depression, or brain fog- People taking acid blocking medications for heartburn- People with digestive conditions such as Celiac disease, colitis, Crohn's disease, and SIBO
Optimal iron levels are essential for our overall wellness. We rely on iron to deliver oxygen to every cell in the body so that we can produce energy. Low iron causes fatigue, a weakened immune system, headaches, difficulties with memory and concentration, hair loss, and muscle weakness.
It is important to have our iron tested regularly so that we can adjust our diet and supplements to achieve and maintain healthy levels. Floradix provides an easily absorbed, gentle combination of iron, B vitamins, and nutrient-rich food extracts to enhance the absorption, digestion, and effects of iron in the body. Floradix provides a well-rounded solution for optimizing iron levels to improve energy and overall health.