If you’ve been told you’re not getting enough iron, you’re not alone. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency globally — especially among children and pregnant women — and the only nutrient deficiency that is widely prevalent in developed countries, according to the World Health Organization.
That’s a problem because iron plays a number of critical roles in the body.
Heme vs. Non-Heme Iron: What’s the Difference?
There are two types of iron: heme iron from animal sources and non-heme iron from plant sources. Heme iron is more easily absorbed by the body than plant-based non-heme iron however heme iron may have some damaging effects on your body, that you should be aware of.
Heme Iron – Risks
High heme intake is associated with an increased risk of several cancers, including colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. Likewise, the evidence for increased risks of type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease associated with high heme intake is compelling.
Too much iron can be a problem
When the source is Heme Iron from animal sources … too much iron can be absorbed leading to high iron stores. This can be checked on a blood test as High Ferritin … reflective of iron stores.
Studies show high stored iron concentration, as assessed by serum ferritin, was associated with the increased risk of Coronary Artery Disease.
If you’re keen to know more
If you are finding this topic of interest you might want to watch my latest YouTube video on
“The Best Source of Iron – Is Having Steak a Mistake?”
We will hosting our first virtual Weight Loss Information Evening for 2021 on 4th August.
- The relation between body iron store and ferritin, and coronary artery disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4063519/
- Animal source absorbs better than vegetable source : Heme Iron. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967179/
- Is heme iron intake associated with risk of coronary heart disease? A meta-analysis of prospective studies