Blood iron levels can affect different processes in your body, and it’s important to stay within the iron level normal ranges in order to maintain your health. But you may not know what your iron levels should be, or how you can keep them within a healthy range.
Do you want to know what your iron levels should be? Just keep reading to learn more.
Functions of iron
According to the University of California San Francisco, approximately 70% of all the iron in your body can be found inside your red blood cells and in myoglobin in your muscle cells. Iron is part of hemoglobin, which is the protein that transports oxygen through your bloodstream and into your tissues. Myoglobin performs a similar function inside the muscles.
A smaller amount of iron is also used to create different proteins and enzymes. Iron is also involved in our immune function, which helps fight off infections. Additionally, around 25% of iron in the body is stored as ferritin, which stores iron in the tissues.
What are normal iron levels?
A simple blood test can determine whether you have a normal iron level. According to Mount Sinai, your results can vary depending on whether you recently took an iron supplement, or are taking certain medications.
Normal value ranges can vary between different laboratories, which is why it’s very important to seek medical assistance to interpret your results.
Average iron level for adults
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, normal iron levels for men are 65-175 mcg/dL, while normal iron levels for women are 50-170mcg/dL.
Average iron level for children
The iron levels chart for children will vary depending on their exact age. However, average levels for children range around 50-120mcg/dL.
Average iron level for elders
The normal range for iron in the blood tends to be slightly lower for seniors, averaging 60-100mcg/dL.
Sources of iron
The amount of iron that you need to consume everyday will depend on different factors, such as age, sex, and diet. Vegans and vegetarians need to consume more iron, since plant-based iron isn’t absorbed as easily by our bodies. You can increase iron absorption by accompanying it with a source of vitamin C, such as citrus fruits.
According to the National Institutes of Health, sources of dietary iron include:
- Fortified cereals and breads
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Hemoglobin and Functions of Iron - ucsfhealth.org
Serum iron test - mountsinai.org
Iron and Total Iron-Binding Capacity - urmc.rochester.edu
Iron - ods.od.nih.gov