Iron is an essential mineral that's usually found in a healthy, balanced diet. It helps the blood circulate oxygen throughout the body.
Some people, including pregnant or menstruating women, need more iron than others and are at greater risk of not getting enough.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health says these people are at increased risk of iron deficiency:
- Pregnant women.
- Preterm or low birth-weight babies.
- Teen girls.
- Women of childbearing age, particularly those with heavy menstruation.
- People in renal failure, notably those requiring dialysis.
- People who do not properly absorb iron from foods or supplements.
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