Daily Dose: Iron

Keep up your strength with this fist-pumping essential mineral.

Posted on | Comments ()

Iron Chef, Iron Man, Iron Maiden, Iron Mike Tyson: The monikers of these pop culture heroes glorify the immense power of the strength-building mineral pumping through their veins. But ordinary mortals need their iron, too. A deficiency of this essential nutrient can put you at risk for serious conditions such as iron-deficient anemia, which causes fatigue and weakens the immune system.

Iron is critical to several body functions including:

  • Creating hemoglobin in red blood cells
  • Transporting oxygen to cells
  • Regulating cell growth and development
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system
  • Promoting healthy brain function

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron varies based on age and sex. Here's the breakdown to determine how much iron you and your family members need every day:

For infants ages 7-12 months, 11 mg

For children ages 1-3, 7 mg

For children ages 4-8, 10 mg

For children ages 9-13, 8 mg

For girls ages 14-18, 15 mg

For boys ages 14-18, 11 mg

For women ages 19-50, 18 mg

For pregnant women ages 14-50, 27 mg

For lactating women ages 14-18, 10 mg

For lactating women ages 19-50, 9 mg

For men ages 19-50, 8 mg

For everyone over 51, 8 mg