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Iron deficiency is a common nutritional disorder, affecting a large number of women and children in both developing and industrialized countries. According to the World Health Organization, over 30% of the world’s population – approximately 2 billion people, are anemic due to iron deficiency.
People who are vegan may have a greater chance of being iron deficient because high-fat meat products are the best source of iron.
Who is at risk of iron deficiency?
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2014
Iron deficiency is dangerous and is easily diagnosed by a simple blood test. If you are deficient in iron and have trouble obtaining enough iron through dietary sources, iron supplementation may be a good alternative. For more information about iron, please visit:
Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease
Jeffery L. Miller, Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine, 2013
iron - Health Professional Fact Sheet
Office of dietary supplements, National Institutes of Health, 2016
Iron deficiency affects about 1 in 10 women who are pregnant and 1 in 4 women during their third trimester. Women who are capable of becoming pregnant are at risk of iron deficiency anemia due to low intakes of iron. In pregnancy, blood volume doubles and iron needs go from 18 mg to 27 mg. Iron may be of particular concern for pregnant women following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Plant source foods only contain non-heme iron, which is less bioavailable than heme iron found in meats, poultry, and seafood. Women who are pregnant are advised to take an iron supplement when recommended by a healthcare provider.
2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020