Iron is a metal that the mankind has been familiar with since time immemorial. The fact that we name one era of our history after iron tells us exactly how important iron was to the ancient civilizations.
Without iron, there is no life
There are three to five grams of iron in a human body, and the majority of it (70 percent) is bound in hemoglobin, while a smaller part of it (up to four percent) is bound in myoglobin and enzymes (one percent). Only 0.1 percent of iron that is bound in the form of transferrin constantly circulates throughout the body, while the rest is stored in the reticuloendothelial cells of the bone marrow, liver, spleen, and other parenchymal cells, as spare iron in the forms of ferritin and hemosiderin.This spare iron is activated during bleeding or big and sudden bodily urges for iron.
Iron’s main task is the transfer of oxygen via blood from the lungs to all cells, respectively binding and transferring the carbon dioxide to lungs, where it gets expelled from the body through exhalation. The oxygen from the inhaled air arrives at the pulmonary alveolus and, through their thin walls, gets transferred into the blood, where it binds to the iron atoms in hemoglobin.
These compounds are unstable, which is why the oxygen gets released into the tissues very easily. Iron’s role in the transfer of oxygen to the cells, where it is used in the oxidation processes, is the most important because death occurs within several minutes in the absence of iron.
The most common anemia
It is believed that the iron deficit and the anemia caused by it affect one third to one-fourth of the global population; mostly the poor people with insufficient nourishment, which is a global problem. Sideropenic anemia (Greek síderos – iron) is the most common type of anemia, which develops fully and is chronic.
The symptoms do not appear in the latent phase and they occur only when the iron reserves are spent. It is manifested through fatigue, lethargy, poor appetite, reduced physical strength and body resistance.
Possible causes of iron deficiency:
- Insufficient intake – in infants and children
- Insufficient absorption – caused by the stomach acid deficiency after surgical interventions or during chronic diarrhea
- Increased needs – during the period of growth and development, pregnancy, breastfeeding
- Increased losses – menstrual bleeding, hemorrhoids, erosive gastritis, bleeding from the peptic ulcer, urogenital system, or lungs.
Divalent iron is more exploitable
Being that our body cannot synthesize iron, we have to intake it through food. The greatest part of iron in the food is in the form of the trivalent iron, which must be reduced into the more exploitable divalent iron in order to get absorbed. Vitamin C also plays an important role here, because it reduces the iron from the trivalent into a divalent form. This is precisely the reason why the iron’s exploitability is significantly improved when we combine foodstuffs rich in vitamin C in our meals.
From the total amount of the consumed iron through food, depending on its form and our body’s needs, only 2 to 10 percent of it can be absorbed. For this reason, the World Health Organization recommends the additional iron intake in the form of some food supplement, which can significantly improve the iron’s status, especially when it comes to risk groups.
Iron from the classic galenical preparations is given in very high dosages, due to its low levels of the inorganic synthesis’ resorption, which leads to the uncomfortable side-effects because of the irritation of the digestive system’s mucosa, such as stomach problems, nausea, vomiting…The consequence of these unwanted side-effects is the accelerated ejection of the stomach and bowel content, as well as the rapid ejection of the Ferro ions, all of which lead to the reduced iron resorption.
A relatively new product, which has been in use since the early 80s of the twentieth century, contains a divalent chelate iron, which in most part solves the previously mentioned problems, and is characterized by the following:
- Low-dose, and biologically very exploitable iron
- Its regular use prevents and suppresses the iron deficit and general weakness of the body
- Improves the appetite, rather than reducing it
- It is the closest compound to the natural forms of the iron binding in the body.
Royal jelly – ideal compound
Bee products, especially the royal jelly, do not only have a high nutritional value – they mean much more to humans. What we primarily instinctively feel when we consume the royal jelly is that it is a high-quality food or an ideal food. If we analyze its composition, we can clearly see that it contains everything we need for growth, development, and the normal functioning of our body: protein (building blocks), fats and carbohydrates (energy elements), vitamins (protective substances), and the multitude of the various mineral components that are very important to us, including iron.
We can provide the greatest amount of iron to our bodies through the consummation of the divalent chelate iron combined with vitamin C, which changes the ferric into a Ferro form – the only absorbable form of iron. Royall jelly contains both vitamin C and iron, and it elevates the general state of our body to a higher level, while simultaneously increasing the iron absorption.
Even though at first glance it is impossible for us to understand the fact that our life depends on one metal that forms the Earth’s interior, we can see that iron is crucial for the major life functions. The deficit or iron in our body can have grave consequences on human life, which is why it is important to consume sufficient amounts of iron, check its values on a regular basis, and react to its deficits in a timely manner.