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People practicing sports, pregnant women and women in the pre-menopausal period, vegetarians and vegans are especially exposed to the shortages of iron. A low level of iron in the athlete's body may cause results deterioration. To increase the bioavailability of iron it is recommended to combine it with meals rich in vitamin C. Iron supplementation should be consulted with a doctor as its long-term intake may cause disorders of iron metabolism in the body.
The iron part of the dye in the form of the heme (hemoglobin and myoglobin in meat), a non-haem (in plant), and enzymes responsible for transport and storage of oxygen in the body. It occurs in enzymes responsible for: the metabolism of fatty acids, prostaglandin biosynthesis, catabolism of tryptophan. The absorption of iron in plant is lower than in animal products. In plant foods, it is reduced by contained chemicals: phytates and oxalates, also calcium and high acidity (pH factor). Only 8% of the intake of iron is absorbed by the body and transported to the blood. For tts absorption is needed sufficient amount of: cobalt, manganese, copper and vitamin C. Iron itself is essential for the metabolism of B vitamins. Source of acquisition of iron are animal products (meat, organ meats, egg yolks) and plant products (whole grain bread, beans , cocoa, parsley, nuts, soy). Iron is also present in synthetic form as a component of vitamin-mineral and mineral and mono-preparation supplements, often enriched with vitamin C. Supplements containing iron compounds are recommended for athletes during intense training and those on a meatless diet (vegetarians and vegans).
Iron deficiency causes anaemia. Using a large amount of strong coffee or tea hinders the absorption of iron. Symptoms of iron deficiency are: insomnia, diarrhea, impaired body temperature, loss of papillae on the tongue, reduced exercise capacity, and reduced intellectual and psychological efficiency.
Excess iron reduces the absorption of other elements (e.g. zinc, copper), reduced immunity, causing tissue damage of some organs (kidney, liver, heart), increased risk of cancer.
Dosage: 3-12 mg per day.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) it is a vitamin soluble in body fluids, can be taken from foods (fruits and vegetables), or as drug derived synthetically. The largest of its resources can be found in broccoli, Brussels sprout, kale, black currant fruit and hawthorn, citrus fruits, tomatoes, Savoy cabbage, potatoes. In fact, intake of vitamin C of the food products does not limit the absorbed quantity. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a potent antioxidant, it is an antitoxic, increasing the immune system due to the elimination of risk of bacterial contamination. Vitamin C prevents rupture of blood vessels, affects the blood cholesterol level. It substantially increases the absorption of iron. Inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Lowers stress levels.
Vitamin C deficiency causes abnormal development of connective tissue, cracking capillaries, abnormal calcification of bone tissue, impaired absorption of iron, scorbutus. With the lack of vitamin C, all kinds of injuries do not heal up properly. Vitamin C deficiency can be caused by smoking; each cigarette is destroying up to 100 mg of vitamin C.
Dosage: The demand is 60-80 mg daily. It does not limit the ability to consume higher doses. Some side effects may occur only with longer taking of synthetic vitamin C.