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According to the National Institutes of Health, around 10 million people in the United States are deficient in the mineral iron. Low iron can lead to anemia, which means that you aren’t producing the proper amount of red blood cells. Thankfully, iron anemia is somewhat less common, only affecting around 5 million people in the U.S.

Iron is an important mineral that allows your blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Muscles and other tissues in the body need oxygen to be able to properly perform, so we can easily see why lower-than-adequate levels of iron could contribute to multiple health issues. Lack of energy is one of the most noticeable issues that comes along with low iron levels, but other symptoms can include dizziness, shortness of breath and general weakness. While an unhealthy diet can contribute to lower iron levels, other causes can be linked to more serious medical issues.

It is possible to get too much of this necessary mineral, so before you start taking high doses of iron, get your levels checked by your doctor. If you have had your iron levels checked and your doctor has suggested that you take an iron supplement, then make sure that you are taking a highly absorbable form of iron. Many people find that iron supplements can be hard on the stomach.

Unfortunately, some find that to be a reason to give up on iron supplements altogetherd.I suggest a chelated form of iron called iron bisglycinate. This type of iron is bonded to the amino acid glycine, and studies have shown that this form is not only gentler on the stomach, but they also found that it is as effective as double the dose of the more commonly available form iron sulfate.

So, if you do need to supplement with iron, consider trying this more absorbable form. Your stomach will thank you for it, along with your blood cells, muscles and energy level.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 16 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.

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