Iron Requirements

Iron requirements depend on iron losses and growth demands for iron across life stages. To maintain iron balance or achieve positive iron balance, therefore, the amount of iron absorbed from the diet must equal or exceed the basal losses plus any additional demands for iron attributable to physiologic state (e.g., growth, menstruation, and pregnancy) and/or pathological iron losses (e.g., excess bleeding). When iron balance is negative, iron deficiency will occur following the depletion of the body's iron reserves. Thus, ensuring an adequate supply of dietary iron is of paramount importance. The risk of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia varies across the life cycle as iron demand and/or the likelihood of consuming adequate dietary iron changes.

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