- Treats Anemia; Iron is helpful for treating anemia, one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Anemia results when hemoglobin is below normal ranges. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, fast heart rate, and an overall feeling of sickness and weakness.
- Boosts Hemoglobin; The chief function of iron is to form hemoglobin, a red blood cell protein whose main purpose is to transport oxygen in the blood. Additional hemoglobin is important, because humans lose blood in many ways, especially from injuries. Women lose blood every month during their menstrual cycles, which is one of the reasons women may be more likely to suffer from anemia.
- Reduces Fatigue; Iron may help manage unexplained fatigue, which can affect both men and women. Even in someone who isn’t anemic, low iron can still reduce energy levels. This is especially common in women during their reproductive years. Fatigue from iron deficiency involves more than just a normal level of sleepiness. It causes tiredness that interferes with a person’s daily routine, and activities may feel exhausting and less enjoyable. People with low iron experience fatigue lasting several weeks or longer. Iron-rich foods and supplements can help raise iron levels and eliminate feelings of tiredness and exhaustion. Cooking on cast iron can also add to increased dietary intake.
- Improves Muscle Endurance; Muscle metabolism and low iron are linked. Adequate levels of iron help provide the necessary oxygen for muscle contraction and endurance. (Muscle weakness is one of the most common signs of anemia.) Low iron also makes muscles fatigue easier. A lack of iron will leave muscle tissues inflamed, causing pain. Iron-rich hemoglobin helps to reduce pain because it repairs affected tissues.
- Boosts Immunity; Iron plays an important role in strengthening the immune system. It promotes hemoglobin, which provides oxygen to damaged cells, tissues, and organs and is necessary for the body’s ability to fight diseases and infections. Therefore, low iron status can impair immune function and the healing process.
- Improves Concentration; Research shows that cognitive levels drop with iron deficiency. When iron levels in the blood drop, concentration and attentiveness are affected almost immediately. Getting iron levels restored to a normal range can improve concentration and boost cognitive performance.
- Reduces Bruising; People who bruise easily may be suffering from low iron or an actual iron deficiency. This is because hemoglobin affects the production and function of platelets, which control blood clotting. Frequent bruising is an indication that internal clotting isn’t working as it should. If low iron is the cause of easy and frequent bruising, then iron supplementation can help.
- Restores Sleep; Research published in 2019 shows a connection between low iron stores and sleep issues, including restless sleep, sleep apnea, and insomnia. Research from 2020 found restless sleep in autistic children can be improved with iron therapy.