Functions: oxygen carrier, forms a part of hemoglobin
Deficiency: the most common dietary deficiency worldwide. Can lead to weaker immune, anemia, muscle weakness, mood changes, impaired cognitive functions (concentration).
Deficiency risk group: people with celiac disease, after gastric surgery, vegans and vegetarians, women (especially pregnant), children and infants
Toxicity: can be caused by high dosage supplements or a genetic disorder (hemochromatosis)
Iron can be found in two forms:
Heme iron: obtained from meat, fish, and seafood where it forms a part of hemoglobin or myoglobin. When these foods are cooked for a long time or in high temperature, iron downgrades to non-heme form
Non-heme iron: obtained from legumes, fruits and vegetables