Iron is an essential mineral required to help the red blood cells transport oxygen to the rest of the body. It also assists in energy production and cell respiration. Based on the Philippine Dietary Reference Intake standards made by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology, the Estimated Average Requirement for iron per day of a male adult is 10.4mg while for females is 26.0mg.
What causes the difference between the iron requirement of males and females? Women become more vulnerable to iron deficiency anemia due to several factors, one of which is menstruation. During this period, iron gets depleted as blood comes out of the body since most of the iron are found in the blood. Also, during pregnancy, the body produces more blood to support the growth of the fetus. Along with the increase in blood volume is the increase in the iron requirement of the body to produce enough amount of red blood cells that will carry oxygen to the different parts of the body.