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Sigma Nutrition Radio

Jan 3, 2023

Iron deficiency is a prevalent issue. Worldwide, it is the leading nutritional deficiency. And although there is lower prevalence in high-income countries, a significant number of people are still affected.

Iron deficiency may be a result of too little iron coming in (i.e., via diet choices or low absorption), or from excess losses (e.g., commonly from blood losses). Understanding how these can impact iron status is crucial for both accurate diagnosis and treatment.

In relation to dietary iron, the source of iron is a common talking point, as there are two forms of iron that we can consume. Heme iron is found in meat, fish, and poultry, while non-heme iron is found in plant foods. It is known that heme iron is more readily absorbed than non-heme iron. However, there is much more to this story that makes things complicated.

To discuss some of the nuances of iron bioavailability, absorption, and metabolism, leading expert in the area Professor Paul Sharp of King’s College London is on the podcast. Prof. Sharp discusses crucial aspects of dietary iron sources, bioavailability, supplementation, and impacts in the body.