How Much Iron To Get While Pregnant


When I was pregnant for the first time, I asked myself questions about how much iron to get while pregnant. This led me to do a lot of research and eventually write this post on how much iron to get while pregnant. And after reading it, if you have any more questions on how much iron to get while pregnant, please feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article.

When it comes to pregnancy, you will want to explore as many avenues for your baby’s well-being. So, what should you know about iron?

How Much Iron To Get While Pregnant

Iron supply discrepancies. In the second stage of deficient erythropoiesis, the decreased rate is ascribed to inadequate iron supply to the bone marrow. While Hb has still normal values (>115g/L), ferritin further reduces (<20 μg/L) together with Tf saturation (<16%). Contrariwise, there is an increase of the sTfR (>1.75 mg/dL). When the functional requirements are not met by dietary absorption or storage release, serum iron (i.e., the amount of Fe3+ in the blood bound to Tf) decreases while Tf increases. Because of this liaison, three assays that measure the potential of iron supply are generally performed concomitantly, being the serum iron, the Tf concentration (reported as the quantity of iron that can be bound to Tf = total iron binding capacity, TIBC), and the percentage of Tf saturation (serum iron × 100/TIBC). Serum iron can be measured by either colorimetric assays (most used) or atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The concentration of serum transferrin can be measured by immunologic methods (direct) or throughout the determination of TIBC, whose assay is identical to the serum iron assay, but applies an additional step (saturation of iron-binding sites of the transferrin molecule with excess iron) followed by the removal of the unbound iron. Several analyzers measure also the unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC), with TIBC being subsequently calculated by summing UIBC to serum iron. Serum iron, TIBC, and transferrin saturation are indexes of an adequate iron supply, but their utility as screening tools for iron deficiency is limited by several factors, such as the circadian rhythm (e.g., morning peak of serum iron and Tf saturation), diet, and oral contraceptive use [55].

Nevertheless, a Tf saturation < 16% is known to reflect a suboptimal iron supply for the proper erythrocyte development [52]. Normal values of serum iron range between 65 μg/dL to 170 μg/dL in adult males and 50 μg/dL to 170 μg/dL in adult females. TIBC and Tf saturation normal ranges are 250–450 μg/dL and 20–60%, respectively, in both adult males and females [48]. The serum is the best sample matrix, but also heparin-plasma may be used, whilst EDTA- and citrate-plasma are unsuitable due to the chelating properties of these anticoagulants. Cellular ion demands [56], the erythroid proliferation rate [57], and the stainable bone marrow iron [58] are known to be linked to the concentrations of the soluble form of the serine protease-cleaved membrane receptor (sTfR) that circulates in plasma bound to Tf. Several lifestyle factors affect sTfR, such as smoking, alcoholic drinking, sedentary behaviors, and hypernutrition [36]. Latex-enhanced immunoassays (nephelometry and turbidimetry) and the more recent immunofluorometric assays have been implemented to evaluate sTfR. However, the usefulness of commercial kits is limited by the poor comparability between different tools, comprising the calibrators (free vs. transferrin-complexed form, tissue origin), the antibodies (monoclonal vs. polyclonal), and reporting units (mg/L vs. nmol/L) [59]. This lack of commutability together with the relatively high cost of reagents are some of the reasons why sTfR measurements have not been widely adopted in clinical practice. Normal range of sTfR are 0.30–1.75 mg/dL. The serum is the best matrix and it should be separated within 8 h from blood drawings in order to get reliable results [48]. Of note, the sTfR/serum ferritin ratio may be more reliable than each parameter alone for the identification of iron deficiency.

importance of balanced diet
Iron Foods
The American National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) defines healthy eating changes as first-line treatments for mild to moderate iron-deficiency anemia [67]. Male adults and postmenopausal women should consume 10–11 mg/day of iron, with ranges adjusting according to physiological (e.g., post-menarche women requires 20 mg/day of iron), dietary (e.g., highest bioavailability is for high meat/fish diets), or environmental factors (e.g., the infected host requires increased iron needs). For instance, iron requirements in conditions of lowest bioavailability can be set at 27.4 mg/day for men and 58.8 mg/day for women [68]. Dietary intakes should guarantee the replenishment of daily basal losses, estimated to be around 0.95–1.00 mg through enterocyte exfoliation, small bleeding events, epithelial desquamation, sweat) [69]. Heme-iron from Hb and myoglobin is efficiently absorbed (15–40% of intake) and accounts for 40% of total iron in animal foods whereas non-heme iron represents the totality of iron present in plant foods [70]. Despite the amount of iron in plants greatly surpassing the content in animal sources (see Table 1), it is much lesser absorbed (1–15% of intake) [71]. Overall, the most recognized animal source of iron is the liver from Bovidae, such as the calf, but also the one from pigs, sheep, horses, and ducks. Other animal sources with great iron amounts are the kidney, the brewer’s yeast, meats, yolk of chicken eggs, and fishes, such as herrings.
A well-balanced diet consists of all the essential foods needed by our bodies for energy and nutrients for growth and repair. Here’s a refresher on why eating a balanced diet is important, and how diet and health are connected.
A specific compound can be added to a food matrix through manual means during food processing (i.e., fortification) or earlier during plant growth (i.e., biofortification). Concerning food fortification, the metal was first added during food processing to increase the population intake, but technical and sensory problems occurred, such as rancidity and color changes of the final product. Foods with long shelf lives are therefore fortified with the more stable carbonyl or electrolytic iron powders other than the more soluble ferrous sulphate [78]. These microspheres of pure iron are also known to have high bioavailability [79]. Partial resolutions were obtained when either a micronized form of ferric pyrophosphate or the encapsulated ferrous fumarate have been used to fortify iodized table salt [80], thus keeping it away from uncontrolled redox reactions, or after investigating more stable and effective formula (e.g., iron-casein complex) to be incorporated in foods [81]. Concerning biofortification, advances in crop sustainment valorized the plant’s need for iron to obtain iron-enriched foods, mainly through innovative agronomic practices and even modern genetic adjustments [82].


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In fact, plants have basic and adaptation mechanisms to incorporate the metal at the root-soil interface (see Section 2) to avoid iron-deficiency symptoms, such as stunted root growth and interveinal chlorosis of young leaves. Biofortification techniques focus on promoting iron incorporation to allow the obtainment of iron-fortified foods [83], but they also aim at obtaining the greatest bioavailability [84]. Despite being a promising agriculture-based approach, there is still limited evidence regarding the clinical efficacy of these biofortified foods to improve nutritional status

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