Why do Women need more Iron than Men? - Why do Women need more Iron than Men? -

Why do Women need more Iron than Men?

Why do Women need more Iron than Men?

by: Dr. Neha Pathania
Senior Dietitian

Nutrition can be defined as food at work in the body. It can also be defined as the process by which the organism ingests digests, absorbs, transports and utilizes nutrients and disposes of their end-products. It is an integral part of our lives and we need to eat a balanced diet to ensure our health and wellness.

Women require more iron than men:

Iron metabolism is probably much the same between the sexes, allowing for body size. Losses through skin and gut are about 14 micrograms (0.014 milligrams) per kilogram of body weight per day – this is about one milligram in a 70-kilogram man and 0.8 milligrams in a 55-kilogram woman. The menstrual loss is the biggest distinguishing factor in iron requirements between the sexes. The menstrual loss of iron in one woman is relatively constant but varies considerably among women. It averages 09 milligrams per day, but in 10 per cent of women, it is greater than 2.2 milligrams per day. In general women in the reproductive phase of life do need more iron than men

The role of iron in a woman’s life:

Women’s nutritional needs change during menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. A woman’s reproductive life means that her nutritional needs differ greatly from those of a man. For most essential vitamins and minerals, a male’s body requires more. But that’s not the case with iron. A female, depending on her stage of life, needs to take in up to more than double the amount of iron a man needs. During pregnancy, iron intake should almost triple a man’s. The differences in our reproductive capabilities are cause for such a large difference. Iron intake is vital for women more than men because women need more iron when they are menstruating and when they are pregnant. Adult women need to increase iron intake once menstruation begins. Menstruation means a loss of blood every month, which can affect the overall iron content of the body. Again, Iron is very important during pregnancy. It helps form the placenta, an essential part of the womb. The iron you supply your child also needs to last her for six months after birth. So not only is iron aiding in development, but your child is storing it up for later.

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