nutrient glossary
Green tea leaves for NUTRILITE vitamin, mineral supplements
How Nutrients Work Vitamin K
Carbohydrates Calcium
Protein Chromium
Fats Iron
Vitamin A Magnesium
Vitamin B Selenium
Vitamin C Omega Fatty Acids
Vitamin D Phytonutrients
Vitamin E

Role of Iron in Good Nutrition

Iron is essential for life. It is a component of hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood that transports oxygen to the cells and removes carbon dioxide from the cells.

Key Functions

  • Iron is a vital component of red blood cells.
  • Iron plays a role in the production and release of energy in the body.

Food Sources

Fortified cereals, liver, dried fruit, sardines, parsley, and watercress

  • Boiling vegetables can reduce the iron content by 20%.
  • Caffeine interferes with the iron absorption in the body. Avoid drinking caffeine along with iron-rich foods or supplements.

Absorbability of iron from foods varies widely:

  • The "organic" iron found in red meats is considered the most absorbable (10 - 30%).
  • Plants contain "inorganic" iron, of which only 2 - 10% is absorbed in the digestive tract.


Check with your local market for the recommended daily intake of iron.

Safety Evidence

Women are usually at a higher risk of iron deficiency because of blood loss through monthly menstrual cycles.

  • Iron is one of the top six nutrients that are found to be commonly deficient in people globally.
  • Iron requirements increase for pregnant women, who produce more red blood cells to supply the growing fetus with oxygen and nourishment.