Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Iron Important?
About 70% of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood and in muscle cells. Red blood cells are essential in transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs to the tissues. Red blood cells in muscle cells accept, store, transport and release oxygen.
What is the Recommended Daily Allowance for Iron?
According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB), the average Recommended Daily Allowance for Iron is 6.0mg per day for males and 19.0 mg for females. For females 60 years and above, the RDA for Iron is reduced to 6.0mg per day. Women generally have higher needs for Iron.
Where can we get a healthy supply of Iron daily?
Iron is not made in the body and must be absorbed from what we eat. The best sources of iron from food are vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. If we are not taking sufficient iron from food, it is recommended that we take iron supplements as an alternative.
The importance of red blood cells (RBC) in the body
RBC are the most abundant cells in the blood, accounting for 40-45% of the volume. Haemoglobin is a special protein within the RBC as it carries fresh oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and returns carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs for one to exhale.
What happens during menstruation?
Menstruating women lose iron through blood loss every month. Blood loss during this time is estimated to be as little as one ounce – a light or average period – and as much as 1 cup – a heavy period. Women with heavy periods may have more iron loss if their diet is lacking in iron-rich food such as vegetables or meat.
What is the importance of folic acid?
Folic acid is essential for cell development and the metabolism of essential biochemical reactions in the body.
Does taking iron supplement help in blood donors’ recovery?
Yes, study shows that iron supplementation after blood donation helps a donor’s recovery of iron and hemoglobin.
Will I have low blood pressure when I have low red blood cell level?
Low red blood cell levels may be accompanied by low blood pressure but low blood pressure doesn’t mean that a person has low red blood cell levels. It is important to consult doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of low blood pressure.
Are there any side effects from consuming iron-supplement pills?
Side effects of consuming iron pills vary from individual to individual, and can include stomach upset and pain, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. To reduce some of these side effects, iron supplements can be consumed with food.
- Blood Basics. American Society of Hematology. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Basics/. Accessed April 20, 2017.
- Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System. WHO. http://www.who.int/vmnis/indicators/haemoglobin.pdf. 2011. Accessed April 16, 2015.
- National Institute of Health. Study shows iron supplementation after blood donation shortens hemoglobin recovery time. 10, February 2015. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/study-shows-iron-supplementation-after-blood-donation-shortens-hemoglobin-recovery-time. Accessed 26 April 2017.