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What is iron?


Iron is the most common transition metal found on the earth's surface and is an essential (vital) trace element for the human organism. It is divided into different compounds, such as haemoglobin and free iron. In animal foods, especially in meat, 40 - 60 percent of the iron is present as haem iron. Due to its good solubility it is characterised by a high bioavailability. In contrast, non-haem iron, which is mainly found in vegetable foodstuffs, is also highly bioavailable. If animal and vegetable foods are consumed at the same time, the absorption rate of iron can be doubled. 


How are iron transported and distributed in the human body? 


After iron has been absorbed into the cells of the small intestinal mucosa, it is either stored as ferritin or converted into plasma. In the plasma, the iron is transferred to the iron transport protein transferrin. This transports the iron to all cells and tissues, where it is subsequently bound to transferrin receptors and absorbed into the cells. The importance of ferritin lies in the storage, transport and detoxification of the iron. If required, iron can be released quickly from the storage inventory. 
Pork tenderloin and pork liver are particularly suitable because of their high iron content. Furthermore, black salsify, spinach, millet, oat flakes, lentils and chick peas provide valuable iron. 

Which foods are particularly suitable for the absorption of iron? 

Pork tenderloin and pork liver are particularly suitable because of their high iron content. Furthermore, black salsify, spinach, millet, oat flakes, lentils and chick peas provide valuable iron.


Health Claims Iron 

  • Contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin 
  • Contributes to normal oxygen transport in the body 
  • Contributes to normal energy metabolism 
  • Contributes to normal cognitive function 
  • Contributes to normal functioning of the immune system 
  • Has a function in cell division