Dietary Sources of Iron and Zinc

iron zinc

The body has two ways to deal with excess iron and zinc. It either eliminates the excess or converts it to another form. The small intestine is tightly regulated by a hormone called hepcidin. The hormone increases in concentration when the body has enough iron in its system. It traps ingested iron in cells called enterocytes, which are naturally shed every two days. During these processes, the iron and zinc are recycled into the body.

Dietary sources of iron and zinc are varied and include meat and dairy products. Meat and poultry are the main food sources of iron and zinc, while nuts and beans are also great sources of this mineral. The consumption of both iron and zinc depends on how much of each is consumed each day. Despite the benefits of these nutrients, you should follow label directions to stay healthy. In general, iron and zinc should be eaten within their recommended amounts and not stored.

However, a number of compounds may affect the absorption of iron and zinc. For example, animal tissue has been found to enhance iron absorption, while ascorbic acid does not. Studies have not been done to evaluate the effect of these compounds on zinc absorption. In the meantime, these compounds have little to no impact on iron absorption. In addition, research needs to be done on dietary intake for the compounds in question to ensure that iron and zinc levels are appropriate for the individual.