We’re often told about the importance of vitamins and the role they play in the body, but more times than not, we don’t get told about specific intake requirements. If you didn’t already know, most countries have set guidelines on the amount of a certain vitamin you need each day. Iron is no exception.
If you are looking to learn about how much iron you need per day, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover everything worth knowing about iron intakes and meeting optimal levels.
Iron Intake Basics
Let’s jump straight in! In accordance to NHS guidelines, recommended daily iron intakes are as follows:
- Women Aged 19 to 50: 14.8mg a day
- Women Over 50: 8.7mg a day
- Men Over 18: 8.7mg a day
As you can see, women aged between 19 and 50 require almost double the amount of iron when compared to different age groups. We’ll discuss this in our next point.
Do Some People Need More Iron Than Others?
You probably would have noticed that, when looking at the recommended daily intakes of iron, women aged 19 to 50 need a whole lot more. However, this isn’t the only exception as to where iron tablets might be needed. Pregnant women and athletes may also need to absorb greater amounts of iron. For this reason, a lot of people benefit from safeguarding their intake through supplements.
Iron For Women
Women aged between 19 and 50 require more iron due to menstruation. As iron exists in your blood, you’ll lose a fair amount of it whenever you bleed. If you experience particularly heavy periods, there’s a chance that this will result in insufficient iron levels. For this reason, paying extra attention to diet or seeking help from supplements might be recommended. A similar concept applies to those who are pregnant.
Iron For Children
You might have noticed that children under the age of 18 were not mentioned in the recommended intake guidance. This is because the recommendations for age groups under 18 fluctuate, meaning there’s no set-in-stone answer to give you.
As it stands, guidance for a child’s iron intake (as stated by the NHS) is as follows:
- 0 to 3 Months: 1.7mg per day
- 4 to 6 Months: 4.3mg per day
- 7 to 12 Months: 7.8mg per day
- 1 to 3 Years: 6.9mg per day
- 4 to 6 Years: 6.1mg per day
- 7 to 10 Years: 8.7mg per day
As the teenage years approach, the recommended iron intake shifts once again:
- 11 to 18 Years (Girls): 14.8mg per day
- 11 to 18 Years (Boys: 11.3mg per day
It’s important to note that iron supplements should be kept far away from children. At such a young age, these supplements can be harmful and not respect their smaller requirements. Instead, focus on ensuring your child maintains a balanced diet.
To summarise, different groups of people have different needs when it comes to iron intakes. If you ever grow concerned about the amount of iron your body is getting, always reach out to a health professional. They will be able to conduct blood tests to assess your situation.