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Everyone knows the popular quote that says “two heads are better than one”. This quote is so true when it comes to Iron and vitamin C. These minerals work hand-in-hand and the removal of either one would be bad for the system.
Today’s busy lifestyle and quick meals have made this interaction even more important. In this article, we will be going through some of the interactions between these nutrients, their importance, and even the factors inhibiting them. Pour yourself a glass of any vitamin C-rich drink, and let’s roll!
Vitamin C & Iron
Vitamin C remains one of the most important minerals, It is needed for a lot of processes going on in the human body. Iron on the other hand is a mineral the body can’t just produce but can’t also function without.
The interaction between these pairs could be seen in various cases but one of the most vital remains; The balancing of Iron levels in the body system.
The balancing of iron levels in the body system.
The most popular nutrient deficiency in most places today is iron deficiency. Studies have shown that this is not entirely a result of poor Iron ingestion, but rather poor absorption of it.
Most of the Iron we consume is gotten from plant sources and the body finds it difficult to take in Iron in this form. Hence, you can consume some of the richest foods in iron but still suffer from a deficiency. Vitamin C forms a bio compound more friendly to the intestine by interacting with iron.
This compound increases the absorption of iron even if it’s from a plant source. An example of the interaction between iron and vitamin C can be seen mainly in the presence of anything iron-inhibitory like tea and calcium and less in meals with high Iron from animal origin.
Factors that inhibit the interaction between Vitamin C and Iron
- This interaction may be inhibited or not seen amongst insoluble iron complexes frequently found in food contamination.
- The high cost and instability of vitamin C sometimes inhibit this interaction. As the interaction is only possible with a sufficient amount of vitamin C.
- Meals with a high level of Iron from an animal source.
A lot of the functions of iron cannot be met without the interaction between Iron & vitamin C, some of these functions include;
- Transportation of oxygen around the body.
- Transporting waste products like carbon dioxide to the lungs where it is expelled.
But basically, the lack of this interaction causes deficiency in the body system.
Iron deficiency symptoms
When Iron fails to interact with vitamin C, deficiencies set in with symptoms like;
- An irritated tongue,
- Pale skin and fingernails.
- Frequent headaches (glossitis).
Anaemia might also occur in severe cases. This is when the red blood cells don’t have enough iron to transport oxygen around the body.
The interaction between vitamin C and iron is one that cannot be overlooked. Diets or supplement containing both nutrients is advised, to keep you healthy and active.
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