How Much Iron Is in the Human Body?

There is enough iron in the human body to make one small nail. Compared to all other elements in the human body, iron makes up roughly 0.006%. On average, the body loses 1-2 milligrams of iron a day through sweat, urine, and menstrual cycles. Iron is replenished through food.

More about iron in the human body:

  • The majority of iron is found in hemoglobin, the blood cells which transport oxygen to the rest of the body.

  • Should more iron be needed, the body will naturally increase the amount that is absorbed.

  • Without an iron-balancing system, the body can absorb too much iron that may then collect on organs and cause poor function.

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More Info: Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Discuss this Article

Post 3

@Krunchyman - First of all, I haven't heard of iron supplements either, though it's possible that you can find some out there if you were to do research. However, when taking supplements, you should always be careful, and proceed with caution.

Always look at how many pills you're allowed to take per day, and even more so, always check the expiration date. However, most important of all, always consider any side effects that could come along with what you're taking.

Sometimes, if someone is taking a medication, taking another pill/supplement along with that could have some really unfortunate side effects. Just as an example, but I know someone who had begun to experience back problems when taking two different medications at the same time.

How does this relate to the article? Generally speaking, while supplements can be beneficial, sometimes, it's best to take what you need through eating healthy food on a daily basis. The more natural and less synthesized, the better.

Post 2

While reading this article, one thing I noticed is that it's stated that iron is replenished through food. This leads me to wonder - like many forms of nutrients, which can be easily taken through supplements, I have never heard of iron supplements, but is this possible? As I have never heard of iron supplements before. Lately, my body has been lacking in iron, and I've noticed that I'm starting to become incredibly weak. While eating foods that are rich in iron could definitely help, taking large amounts could be even better, as the milligrams always tend to come in large doses.

Post 1

While I didn't know much about iron before reading this, it's interesting to hear that there's enough in the human body to make a nail. In fact, I wonder how much iron can be consumed before you began to overdose. After all, while it's true that our body needs some iron in order to function, don't forget that too much of anything isn't good for you, especially in this case.

Adding onto this, in relation to the third bullet point, when the article mentions an iron balancing system, I wonder if they mean that one should try and monitor how much iron is consumed on a daily basis. While it's generally something that most people don't have to worry about, it's probably a lot more prominent to those who consume tons of foods that have lots of iron, such as meat.

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