MadSci Network: Other

Re: How much dietary iron should a regular person take in in a day?

Date: Wed Mar 24 10:56:39 2010
Posted By: Elizabeth Kunkel, Faculty, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Clemson University
Area of science: Other
ID: 1264607394.Ot

There are several breakfast cereals that are fortified with iron; some of 
them are fortified with 100% of the Daily Value for iron.  The Daily 
Value is the standard set by FDA for use on food labels and reflects the 
Recommended Dietary Allowance set by the Institute of Medicine.  The 
Recommended Dietary Allowances are set by gender and by age group; the 
RDA for iron ranges from 8 mg/day for pre-adolescent children, post-
menopausal women, and post-adolescent males to 18 mg/day for women during 
childbearing years.  The "Upper Tolerable Limit" for iron is 45 mg/day, 
which means that more iron than that has been found to result in adverse 
health effects.  Too much iron can damage cells, especially those of the 
heart, liver, and pancreas.  

The iron that is incorporated into cereals is an iron salt, such as 
ferric citrate, which naturally occurs as a powder.  This compound is 
incorporated into the dough from which breakfast cereals are made along 
with all the other ingredients before the dough is flaked or extruded 
into its final shape.

References:  Judith Brown, Nutrition Now, 5th ed., Thomson/Wadsworth
Norman Potter and Joseph Hotchkiss, Food Science, 5th ed. Chapman and 

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