Iron is an essential mineral. Good food sources of iron include: lentils, prune juice, beef, oysters, and tofu.1 The 100% Daily Value of Iron (based on a 2000 kcal diet) is 18 mg.2 The 100% Daily Value for pregnant or lactating women is 27 mg, effective as of January 1st, 2020.9
- Ferric Ammonium Citrate: Ferric ammonium citrate is a mineral salt containing iron complexed with ammonia and the organic acid, citric acid. It is prepared by combining ferric hydroxide with citric acid. Following the addition of ammonium hydroxide, it undergoes a drying and evaporation process. Ferric ammonium citrate is a bioavailable, water-soluble form of the essential trace mineral, iron.
- Ferrous Fumarate: Ferrous fumarate is a bioavailable form of the essential trace mineral, iron. Ferrous fumarate is prepared by mixing hot solutions of ferrous sulfate and sodium fumarate (fumaric acid, an organic acid). The resulting slurry is separated and dried into a reddish-brown powder.
- Ferrous Lactate: Ferrous lactate is a bioavailable form of the essential trace mineral, iron. Ferrous lactate is prepared by combining calcium lactate or sodium lactate with ferrous sulfate, or by directly mixing iron filings with the organic acid, lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced by the fermentation of simple carbohydrates found in sugar beets.
Major Health Benefits
Iron is a component of hemoglobin (found in red blood cells) that helps transports oxygen from the lungs to the body’s cells.3,4 Iron is also an essential component of myoglobin, the protein that stores oxygen reserves in muscle. Iron also contributes to development and maintenance of normal cognitive function and the immune system. Iron also plays a role in DNA synthesis and preventing iron-deficiency (microcytic) anemia.5,6 Symptoms of anemia may include rapid heart rate, fatigue, sores on the corners of the mouth, brittle nails, and a sore tongue.6
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for Iron in one day is 45 mg.7 Excessive intake of iron may cause vomiting and diarrhea.8
Higdon, J. Iron. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Wessling-Resnick, M. in 2009) (Food Sources). http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/iron Accessed 7/2015.
US Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients). US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013 January. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm
European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Iron Health Benefits. EFSA Journal 2009; 7(9): 1215.
European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Iron Health Benefits. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(10): 1740.
Higdon, J. Iron. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Wessling-Resnick, M. in 2009) (DNA Synthesis)
Higdon, J. Iron. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Wessling-Resnick, M. in 2009) (Deficiency)
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, Elements. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies. (PDF available)
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. The National Academic Press. 2001 (pp. 357)
US Food and Drug Administration. Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. US Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 103, p. 33982 / May 27, 2016. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/