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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds So now we are going to talk about what is iron deficiency anemia? So iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia in the world. Iron is an essential nutrients for our body. So because iron is essential nutrient for hemoglobin, so iron is involved in oxygen transportation. Iron is also essential micronutrients for all microorganisms. So, for example in our gut bacteria, this microbiota also use iron for their own growth. Iron is also essential components for more than hundred enzymes. So normally, they work as coenzyme and heavily involved in DNA synthesis and energy metabolism. So, for young children, iron is critical for their brain development. Iron is also essential for immune regulation.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds However, iron is unstable, so if you have excess iron in your body and they can work as oxidant or pro-oxidant. In this case, they may trigger phantom reaction and triggers a tissue injury. So chronic iron deficiency may impair energy metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis. So patients may have reduced work capacity and mental productivity. Also, they may experience motivational and emotional problems. And for young children, if you have chronic or severe iron deficiency, then this may impair brain development. So this young children, may have low IQ or have low school performance. And in the severe case, young children may also have growth retardation. The human body contains an average of 3.5 grams of iron.

Skip to 2 minutes and 31 seconds The typical daily diet contains around 10 to 20 milligrams of iron The iron absorption rate is pretty low so normally only 5 to 10 percent of dietary iron is absorbed. So, in adult the total iron exclusion was around 1.2 milligram per day for men and almost 1.6 mini gram per day for menstruating woman; and around 1 milligram per day for postmenopausal women. So overall, our diets normally contains 10 to 20 milligram iron per day, but the iron absorption rate is pretty low. So in a healthy adult, the iron absorption rate normally is less than 10%. So the absorbed iron will be bound to transferring.

Skip to 3 minutes and 30 seconds Transferring is like a taxi that carry iron to different part of organs but our body also had basal iron losses and which accounts for around 1 to 2 mg. So, one milligram of loss iron is normally from dead cells. Because this cells may use iron as coenzymes, so when this cells die, then iron will also lost. Another is the menstruating woman. So during the menstrual bleeding, and this woman probably will lost around one milligram of iron. So the 10% iron absorption rate actually compensates our basal iron losses, but in adult, we also contains a high amount of red blood cell in our body.

Skip to 4 minutes and 24 seconds So if the red blood cell are going to die, and this heme iron will be recycled by Macrophage in spleen or in the liver. So the recycle heme iron from the synonym red blood cell will also released into the blood. And in this case, this recycle iron contributes to 90% of our iron requirement in adult. So, for teenagers and they, and also reproductive age women, they require around 15 mg iron per day. But if men stop growing, and their iron requirement reduce to around 10 milligram iron per day. And this is also the same case for women. If women stop menstruating, then, the postmenopausal women also reduce to 10 milligram iron requirement per day.

Skip to 5 minutes and 30 seconds If woman is in the pregnancy or lactation, they need additional 30 milligrams of iron and because this is a very high amount of iron and is almost impossible to get from the natural foods, so normally medical doctors will ask pregnant woman to take iron supplementation.

Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia in the world. However, the iron absorption rate is low in human. There are only 5-10% of dietary iron is absorbed.

In this video, Prof. Chang will explain the importance of iron in human body. Then she will talk about how to prevent the iron deficiency anemia through foods.

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This video is from the free online course:

Nutrition and Disease Prevention

Taipei Medical University