Losses in faeces are 0.3–0.5 mg per day, in sweat and skin cells 0.5 mg, traces in hair and urine, total loss 0.5–1.5 mg per day. Blood loss leads to a considerable loss of iron. The average diet contains 10–15 mg, of which 0.5–1.5 mg is absorbed. The haem iron of meat and fish is considerably better absorbed than the inorganic iron of vegetable foods. Reference intakes are 8.7 mg for adult men and 14.8 mg for women; women who have heavy menstrual blood losses may not be able to obtain enough from food, and supplements are necessary.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.