More Americans have iron deficiency now

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In a new study from Biomedical Research of New Jersey in Cedar Knolls, researchers found more Americans aren’t getting enough iron in their diets most likely due to changes in farming practices and a shift away from red meat.

They found rates of iron deficiency anemia are on the rise.

Iron deficiency remains a major public health issue even in a developed country such as the United States.

Iron helps make hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Anemia results from a drop in red blood cells.

It can cause fatigue, pale skin, dizziness and/or weakness, and can lead to other health problems, including heart failure if left untreated.

In this study, the team used three large government databases to track trends in anemia rates; the amount of iron found in U.S. food products; and deaths from iron-deficiency anemia between 1999 and 2018.

The team found during that time, iron intake dropped 6.6% in men and 9.5% in women as levels of the nutrient fell in more than 500 food products assessed, including pork, turkey, fruit, vegetables, corn and beans.

This was most likely due to changes in farming practices. Previous studies have pointed to a push to increase crop yield per acre and irrigation runoff as among those changes.

The team also found more people are eating chicken instead of red meat for health purposes, and red meat contains much more iron.

Fortified grains and cereals increase iron intake, but low-carb diets and switching away from fortified cereal have also decreased iron intake.

During the study period, deaths from iron deficiency anemia rose, and more people required treatment for severe anemia. This risk was highest among women and African Americans.

Researchers say that blood tests can diagnose iron deficiency, and diet changes and supplements are typically ordered to get iron levels up to where they should be.

There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in animal products such as red meat and is better absorbed than non-heme iron in plant-based foods like lentils, spinach, kidney beans, nuts, and some dried fruit like raisins.

Foods like citrus fruit that are rich in vitamin C can help the body better absorb plant-based iron.

If you care about diets, please read studies about this healthy diet may strongly prevent memory loss and dementia and findings of this green diet may strongly lower non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

For more information about diets and your health, please see recent studies about the diet to lower blood pressure also provides other health benefits and results showing that short-term low-carb diets may help reduce type 2 diabetes.

The study is published in The Journal of Nutrition. One author of the study is Dr. Ian Griffin.

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