Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 25–45 | Cite as

Iron requirements

Comments on methods and some crucial concepts in iron nutrition
  • Leif Hallberg


Absorbed iron (Fe) requirements are partly recalculated based on new figures for Fe requirements in menstruating women. The new higher figures were obtained by including in the calculation of the total requirements the effect of variations in hemoglobin concentration, which influences the variation in menstrual Fe losses and the variation in basal Fe losses. Higher figures were also found for menstruating teenage girls.

Dietary iron requirements were also recalculated based on a critical examination of data available allowing estimations of bioavailability of the dietary iron in Western-type diets. In borderline Fe-deficient subjects, with optimal hemoglobin levels but no iron stores, the 95th percentile range for the bioavailability was estimated to 14–16% of the fraction of the dietary Fe that is potentially available for absorption (correction for partially available fortification Fe).

Index Entries

Iron requirements humans diet menstruation 


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press, Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Hallberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Göteborg, Sahlgren HospitalGöteborgSweden

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