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Iron Fact Sheet

Prepared by Shelly Asplin, MA, RD LMNT, 2010

Top Two Reasons to Consume Adequate Iron:

  1. Hemoglobin production
  2. Avoiding deficiency symptoms
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Feeling tired
  • Shortness of breath

How much iron per day?

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Iron for Infants (7-12 months), Children and Adults

Age Male (mg/day)  Female (mg/day) Pregnant (mg/day)  Lactating (mg/day)
7-12 months 11 11  N/A  N/A
1-3 years 7 7  N/A  N/A
4-8 years 10 10  N/A  N/A
9-13 years 8 8  N/A  N/A
14-18 years 11 15  27  10
19-50 years 8 18 27 9
51+ years 8 8 N/A N/A

 

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Iron for Infants (7-12 months), Children and Adults

Age Male (mg/day) Female (mg/day) Pregnancy (mg/day) Lactation (mg/day)
7-12 months 40 40 N/A N/A
1-13 years 40 40 N/A  N/A 

 

Food Sources

Sources of Heme-Iron

Food Iron (mg) %DV
Beef, chuck, lean only, braised, 3 ounces 3.2 20.00%
Beef, tenderloin, roasted, 3 ounces 3.0 15.00%
Beef, eye of round, roasted, 3 ounces 2.2 10.00%
Turkey, light meat, roasted, 3½ ounces 1.6 8.00%
Chicken, leg, meat only, roasted, 3½ ounces 1.3 6.00%
Tuna, fresh bluefin, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces  1.1 6.00%
Chicken, breast, roasted, 3 ounces  1.1 6.00%
Halibut, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces  0.9 6.00%
Pork, loin, broiled, 3 ounces  0.8  4.00%
Tuna, white, canned in water, 3 ounces  0.8  4.00%

 

Sources of Non-Heme Iron 

Food  Iron (mg) %DV
Ready-to-eat cereal, ¾ cup 18 100.00%
Chex Cereal, ¾ cup 9 50.00%
Soybeans, mature, boiled, 1 cup 8.8 50.00%
Beans, kidney, mature, boiled, 1 cup 5.2 25.00%
Molasses, blackstrap, 1 tablespoon 3.5 20.00%
Spinach, boiled, drained, ½ cup  1.9 10.00%
Grits, white, enriched, quick, prepared with water, 1 cup  1.5 8.00%

*DV = Daily Value. DV’s are developed by the FDA to help consumers know how much of a specific nutrient is in a food.

Labs to check folate: Iron

Adapted from the following resources:

  • NIH Office Of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/iron.asp
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2003. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp

Disclaimer: This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult with a health care provider before making changes to your health care regimen.

Reviewed 2/19/2013