Vegetarians and Iron

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Vegetarians and Iron

Postby Mrs. Canuck Kaur » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:49 pm

From:

Iron

Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, transporting oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body. It also plays a vital role in many metabolic reactions. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia resulting from low levels of haemoglobin in the blood. Iron deficiency is the most widespread mineral nutritional deficiency both in Britain and worldwide.

Functions

Iron is essential for the formation of haemoglobin, the red pigment in blood. The iron in haemoglobin combines with oxygen and transports it through the blood to the body's tissues and organs. The body contains between 3.5 and 4.5g of iron, 2/3 of which is present in haemoglobin. The remainder is stored in the liver, spleen and bone-marrow. A small amount is present as myoglobin, which acts as an oxygen store in muscle tissue.

Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia. Iron stores in the body become depleted and haemoglobin synthesis is inhibited. Symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, lack of stamina, breathlessness, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite and pallor. All these symptoms are associated with decreased oxygen supply to tissues and organs. Iron also plays an important role in the immune system, people with low iron levels having lowered resistance to infection. Research has also shown iron deficiency to be associated with impaired brain function, and iron deficiency in infants can result in impaired learning ability and behavioural problems.

Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional problem both in Britain and worldwide. It has been stated that 2/3 of children and women of child-bearing age in developing countries suffer from iron deficiency, 1/3 suffering from severe deficiency and anaemia. In developed countries, between 10-20% of child-bearing age women are said to be anaemic. Iron is the least plentiful nutrient in the typical British diet and anaemia is fairly common in the UK.

Dietary Sources

Dietary iron exists in two different forms. Haem iron only exists in animal tissues, whilst in plant foods iron is present as non-haem iron. In a mixed omnivore diet around 25% of dietary iron is non-haem iron. Non-haem iron is less easily absorbed by the body than is haem iron. The amount of iron absorbed from various foods ranges from around 1 to 10% from plant foods and 10 to 20% from animal foods.

The absorption of iron is influenced by other constituents of a meal. Phytates, oxalates and phosphates present in plant foods can inhibit absorption, as can tannin in tea. Fibre may also inhibit absorption. Vitamin C greatly increases the absorption of non-haem iron. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, green peppers, and fresh leafy green vegetables. Citric acid, sugars, amino acids can also promote iron absorption. Iron absorption can also be influenced by the amount of iron in the diet. Lowered levels of iron in the diet result in improved absorption.

Good sources of iron for vegetarians include wholegrain cereals and flours, leafy green vegetables, blackstrap molasses, pulses such as lentils and kidney beans, and some dried fruits.

Sources of Iron (single servings)
Good sources Fair sources Poor sources
Chick peas (200g or 7oz)
1.3 mg Banana (120g or 4¼oz) 0.48 mg
Bran flakes (45g or 1½oz) 5.3 mg Avocado (75g or 2¾oz) 1.1 mg Yoghurt (150g or 5½oz) 0.36 mg
Spinach, boiled (100g or 3½oz) 4.0 mg Asparagus (125g or 4¾oz) 1.1 mg Cow's milk (½ pint) 0.14 mg
Baked beans (225g or 8oz) 3.2 mg 1 slice wholemeal bread (40g) 1.0 mg Hard cheese (30g or 1oz) 0.12 mg
Black treacle (35g or 1¼oz) 3.2 mg Broccoli, boiled (100g or 3½oz) 1.0 mg Margarine (7g or ¼oz) 0.02 mg
Muesli (60g or 2¼oz) 2.76mg Brown rice (200g or 7oz) 0.9 mg . .
4 Dried figs (60g or 2oz) 2.1 mg Peanut butter (20g or ½oz) 0.5 mg . .
8 Dried apricots (50g or 1¾oz) 2.1 mg . . . .

Despite iron from plant foods being less readily absorbed research has shown that vegetarians are no more likely to suffer from iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Draper & Wheeler (1989) have stated there is no indication of increased prevalence of iron deficiency amongst vegetarians. Anderson (1981) found the iron status of long-term vegetarian women to be adequate, despite a high intake of fibre and phytate.

References:
Anderson, B. et al. (1981). The iron and zinc status of long-term vegetarian women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition v.34 (6) p.1042-1048.

Draper, A. & Wheeler, E. (1989). The diet and food choice of vegetarians in Greater London. Centre of Human Nutrition, London.

Required Intakes

The old Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA's) have now been replaced by the term Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). The RNI is the amount of nutrient which is enough for at least 97% of the population.

Reference Nutrient Intakes for Iron, mg/day
Age RNI . Age RNI
0 to 3 months 1.7 mg . Men 11 - 18 yrs 11.3 mg
4 to 6 months 4.3 mg . Men 19 + yrs 8.7 mg
7 to 12 months 7.8 mg . Women 11 - 49 yrs 14.8 mg
1 to 3 yrs 6.9 mg . Women 50 + yrs 8.7 mg
4 to 6 yrs 6.1 mg . - -
7 to 10 yrs 8.7 mg . - -

In women of child-bearing age, loss of iron from menstruation of blood adds considerably to iron need. These losses can be highly variable. Around 10% of women of child-bearing age will need more iron than is indicated.
In men, post-menopausal women, and children iron is efficiently conserved by the body. Iron in haemoglobin is recycled and the amount of iron lost from the body is very small. Infants and children need extra iron to increase blood volume and muscle tissue. Extra iron is also required during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Meal Plan

Sample one day's meal plan to meet the RNI of 14.8 mg for a women aged 11 to 49 years

Breakfast Lunch Evening meal

Bowl of muesli with milk 2.76mg 2 slices of wholemeal bread 2.0 mg Brown rice (200g or 7oz) 0.94mg
1 slice of toast 1.0 mg Peanut butter (20g or ¾oz) 0.5 mg Chick peas (200g or 7oz) 6.2 mg
- - 1 banana 0.5 mg Broccoli (100g or 3½oz) 1.0 mg
Total iron intake - 14.9 mg
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby AmardeepSingh » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:52 am

We messed up our tava at home so I was looking online for a new one. I put the old one under cold water while it was still hot (someone told me it's easier to clean that way) so the shape became deformed lol. Anyway I thought why not get an iron one, so picked this one up from walmart.

I noticed on the website it says it's a excellent source of nutrional iron :)
Cast iron is the most durable cooking material available, is best for even heating, heat retention and is an excellent source of nutritional iron.
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby Canuck Singh » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:01 am

hehe,

I have a huuuge tavva specially imported from north america, and it doesn't fit on my wee little uk cooker, ;)

and yes, superheating and supercooling alter the thermodynamics properties of given materials, causing them to enter semi-liquid/solid states...

Enough physics for today....

----------------------------------------------

Regarding smiley's, I am still trying to sort that out, but the programme does not allow me to add it at the moment
:roll:
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby Canuck Singh » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:52 pm

Iron supplementation may help reduce fatigue during strenuous exercise, even if the person is not iron deficient, suggests research recently published in The America Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In an interesting study, women taking iron supplements showed a significant increase in muscle performance compared to a placebo group that showed no improvement after the same amount of leg exercise. Twenty non-anemic women received either an iron supplement (10mg) or placebo twice daily for six weeks in a randomized, double-blind trial. The researchers from Cornell University and the State University of New York assessed the rates of quadriceps muscle fatigue seen during knee extension exercises.

There were no significant differences between the groups in baseline iron status. However, after treatment blood iron and transferrin saturation (the protein that carries iron in the bloodstream) increased significantly in the iron group.

The group taking the iron supplement showed a 27% decrease in fatigue in the muscle performance tests, unlike the placebo group. The researchers concluded that iron supplementation was associated with greater work capacity and less muscle fatigability.

The bottom line is that supplementation with iron may boost performance even if the athlete is appears to possess adequate iron levels. However, don’t mega dose with iron, in high doses this mineral is toxic.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 77;2:441-448, 2003.
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby AmardeepSingh » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:46 pm

I didn't know sholey (chick peas) had a lot of iron in them
I was going to make some today, but got lazy
will have a go tomorrow
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:23 pm

Iron is a critical nutrient for both male and female athletes as it plays a role in a number of key cellular processes including DNA synthesis, oxygen transportation, and the electron transport system. According to a recent study, as many as 25 to 35% of athletes have low iron stores as compared to 8% young adults in the general population.

Supplementation with this mineral specifically is tricky, the body does not have a mechanism by which to excrete excess iron, repeated high doses can cause rather serious adverse effects. Therefore, here are some interesting facts about iron absorption to help meet your needs safely and effectively.

The absorption of non-heme iron often depends on the food balance in meals.

Vitamin-C rich foods will enhance absorption of iron. A glass of OJ with a steak or fish meal will help your body absorb the iron it needs.

Foods containing riboflavin (vitamin B2) may help enhance the response of hemoglobin to iron. Most flesh foods contain B2 as well as broccoli and legumes.

Normal gastric acid secretion is necessary to help absorb iron.

Vegetarians who exclude all animal products from their diet may need almost twice as much dietary iron each day as non-vegetarians because of the lower intestinal absorption of non-heme iron in plant foods.

Source: NSCA performance training journal, 2006
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:37 pm

Many physicians still use the wrong blood assays to diagnose iron deficiencies among athletes. On many occasions serum iron and hemoglobin levels are assessed and will show normal readings, where serum ferritin a more accurate measure of blood iron stores, can be almost zero. Serum iron and hemoglobin are used for diagnosis of anemia in disease conditions. The physiological circumstances that create iron deficiencies among athletes are much different. So make sure the appropreate tests are carried out to provide you with a correct diagnosis.

Erythrocytes are the red blood cells that carry oxygen and they make up 35-50% of your blood. The proportion of your blood made of red blood cells is measured by the hematocrit. A hematocrit of 50 provides 25% more red blood cells than a hematocrit of 40. Each red cell is 25-35% hemoglobin, the red pigment made from iron. Low iron stores are low hemoglobin and low hematocrit, and it is the most common documented cause of poor performance among athletes.

The only way to assess a requirement is to look at how much the athlete uses. Sedentary males and females use about 1.5mg per day in a variety of processes. Athletes use this plus a lot more. Athletes sweat and iron pours out in sweat. On a sunny day an endurance athlete sweats on average 1.3 liters an hour. In that sweat about .5mg of iron is lost per hour. Add up the training hours in a week, it is significant. Hemolysis is the distraction of red blood cells via high impact exercise. Running and other high impact activity destroys red blood cells as your feet pound the pavement. There is also compression Hemolysis, this is the crushing of red blood cells via intense muscle contraction. This has been confirmed in many low impact sports such as swimming, rowing and cycling, while weight training generates the most intense muscle contractions. Other sources of iron loss athletes face include gastro-intestinal bleeding, acidosis and peroxidation of cell membranes by free radicals.

The trouble is, iron by itself does little to raise your hematocrit and hemoglobin. Studies clearly demonstrate large doses of iron do not increase iron stores, they actually cause infections and reduce iron levels even further. When you combine this with the fact that only 10% of the iron in our food is bioavalable, it is easy for the hard training athlete to go below the minimum of 35 to 42mg of iron they need every day, day after day. While supplementation is usually necessary, at around 20-25mg a day, iron also needs a whole lot of other hematopoietic (blood building) nutrients. These are folate, zinc, cobalamin (B12), pyridoxine (B6), ascorbate and tocopherol (vit E). Unfortunately there are no studies documenting the optimal amounts of these nutrients required by athletes. Such is the infancy of our science. However there are many studies that demonstrate athletes from virtually every sport, fail to meet their extraordinary nutrient demands. Many athletes still do not even reach RDA values with their diet.

Try to ensure you are achieving the values below from supplementation every single day. It will provide you with a safe nutritional base upon which you can assess your next blood assay in 3 months.

* Folate: 500mcg

* Zinc: 50mg

* Cobalamin: 6mcg

* Pyridoxine: 50mg

* Ascorbate: 500mg

* Tocopherol: 400-2000mg alpha TE.
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby Canuck Singh » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:38 am

Foods rich in Iron include:
Leafy green vegetables
Wholemeal bread
Dried fruits
Pulses
Molasses

Foods rich in Vitamin C include:

Blackcurrants
Lemons
Pepper
Cabbage
Broccoli
Strawberries
Grapefruit
New potatoes
Fresh green vegetables
Tomatoes
Oranges
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Re: Vegetarians and Iron

Postby angela3398 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:02 pm

Mrs. Canuck Kaur wrote:From:

Iron

Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, transporting oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body. It also plays a vital role in many metabolic reactions. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia resulting from low levels of haemoglobin in the blood. Iron deficiency is the most widespread mineral nutritional deficiency both in Britain and worldwide.

Functions

Iron is essential for the formation of haemoglobin, the red pigment in blood. The iron in haemoglobin combines with oxygen and transports it through the blood to the body's tissues and organs. The body contains between 3.5 and 4.5g of iron, 2/3 of which is present in haemoglobin. The remainder is stored in the liver, spleen and bone-marrow. A small amount is present as myoglobin, which acts as an oxygen store in muscle tissue.

Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia. Iron stores in the body become depleted and haemoglobin synthesis is inhibited. Symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, lack of stamina, breathlessness, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite and pallor. All these symptoms are associated with decreased oxygen supply to tissues and organs. Iron also plays an important role in the immune system, people with low iron levels having lowered resistance to infection. Research has also shown iron deficiency to be associated with impaired brain function, and iron deficiency in infants can result in impaired learning ability and behavioural problems.

Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional problem both in Britain and worldwide. It has been stated that 2/3 of children and women of child-bearing age in developing countries suffer from iron deficiency, 1/3 suffering from severe deficiency and anaemia. In developed countries, between 10-20% of child-bearing age women are said to be anaemic. Iron is the least plentiful nutrient in the typical British diet and anaemia is fairly common in the UK.

Dietary Sources

Dietary iron exists in two different forms. Haem iron only exists in animal tissues, whilst in plant foods iron is present as non-haem iron. In a mixed omnivore diet around 25% of dietary iron is non-haem iron. Non-haem iron is less easily absorbed by the body than is haem iron. The amount of iron absorbed from various foods ranges from around 1 to 10% from plant foods and 10 to 20% from animal foods.

The absorption of iron is influenced by other constituents of a meal. Phytates, oxalates and phosphates present in plant foods can inhibit absorption, as can tannin in tea. Fibre may also inhibit absorption. Vitamin C greatly increases the absorption of non-haem iron. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, green peppers, and fresh leafy green vegetables. Citric acid, sugars, amino acids can also promote iron absorption. Iron absorption can also be influenced by the amount of iron in the diet. Lowered levels of iron in the diet result in improved absorption.

Good sources of iron for vegetarians include wholegrain cereals and flours, leafy green vegetables, blackstrap molasses, pulses such as lentils and kidney beans, and some dried fruits.

Sources of Iron (single servings)
Good sources Fair sources Poor sources
Chick peas (200g or 7oz)
1.3 mg Banana (120g or 4¼oz) 0.48 mg
Bran flakes (45g or 1½oz) 5.3 mg Avocado (75g or 2¾oz) 1.1 mg Yoghurt (150g or 5½oz) 0.36 mg
Spinach, boiled (100g or 3½oz) 4.0 mg Asparagus (125g or 4¾oz) 1.1 mg Cow's milk (½ pint) 0.14 mg
Baked beans (225g or 8oz) 3.2 mg 1 slice wholemeal bread (40g) 1.0 mg Hard cheese (30g or 1oz) 0.12 mg
Black treacle (35g or 1¼oz) 3.2 mg Broccoli, boiled (100g or 3½oz) 1.0 mg Margarine (7g or ¼oz) 0.02 mg
Muesli (60g or 2¼oz) 2.76mg Brown rice (200g or 7oz) 0.9 mg . .
4 Dried figs (60g or 2oz) 2.1 mg Peanut butter (20g or ½oz) 0.5 mg . .
8 Dried apricots (50g or 1¾oz) 2.1 mg . . . .

Despite iron from plant foods being less readily absorbed research has shown that vegetarians are no more likely to suffer from iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Draper & Wheeler (1989) have stated there is no indication of increased prevalence of iron deficiency amongst vegetarians. Anderson (1981) found the iron status of long-term vegetarian women to be adequate, despite a high intake of fibre and phytate.

References:
Anderson, B. et al. (1981). The iron and zinc status of long-term vegetarian women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition v.34 (6) p.1042-1048.

Draper, A. & Wheeler, E. (1989). The diet and food choice of vegetarians in Greater London. Centre of Human Nutrition, London.

Required Intakes

The old Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA's) have now been replaced by the term Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). The RNI is the amount of nutrient which is enough for at least 97% of the population.

Reference Nutrient Intakes for Iron, mg/day
Age RNI . Age RNI
0 to 3 months 1.7 mg . Men 11 - 18 yrs 11.3 mg
4 to 6 months 4.3 mg . Men 19 + yrs 8.7 mg
7 to 12 months 7.8 mg . Women 11 - 49 yrs 14.8 mg
1 to 3 yrs 6.9 mg . Women 50 + yrs 8.7 mg
4 to 6 yrs 6.1 mg . - -
7 to 10 yrs 8.7 mg . - -

In women of child-bearing age, loss of iron from menstruation of blood adds considerably to iron need. These losses can be highly variable. Around 10% of women of child-bearing age will need more iron than is indicated.
In men, post-menopausal women, and children iron is efficiently conserved by the body. Iron in haemoglobin is recycled and the amount of iron lost from the body is very small. Infants and children need extra iron to increase blood volume and muscle tissue. Extra iron is also required during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Meal Plan

Sample one day's meal plan to meet the RNI of 14.8 mg for a women aged 11 to 49 years

Breakfast Lunch Evening meal

Bowl of muesli with milk 2.76mg 2 slices of wholemeal bread 2.0 mg Brown rice (200g or 7oz) 0.94mg
1 slice of toast 1.0 mg Peanut butter (20g or ¾oz) 0.5 mg Chick peas (200g or 7oz) 6.2 mg
- - 1 banana 0.5 mg Broccoli (100g or 3½oz) 1.0 mg
Total iron intake - 14.9 mg


Your post is really motivating and informative. Thanks for sharing!
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