Iron Deficiency and Gut Health

The link between iron deficiency and gut health

Iron is only absorbed by cells in the gut that grab iron and actively transport it. The cells preferentially absorb haem iron which comes mostly from red blood cells in meat. Plant based iron must be converted into haem iron for it to be absorbed and this process requires vitamin C.

To assist with iron deficiency and gut health, the best source of iron is red meat but when eating plant based iron ensure that you eat large quantities of lentils, dark green vegetables, seeds and nuts together with vitamin C such as citrus or peppers.

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Author: Professor Toby Richards

Mr Toby Richards is a Professor of Surgery at University College London. He has pioneered anaemia management and intravenous iron therapy in the UK. His underlying belief is that optimising patient’s health and fitness before surgery will improve their recovery and benefit their outcomes. He has embedded clinical research and development into all areas of practice.

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