- Iron supplements linked with colon cancer, says study.
- Certain iron tablets may increase formation of cancer biomarker.
- Nuts, dried fruits and seeds are great dietary sources of iron.
The research has put the spotlight on two compounds that are often used as dietary supplements and food additives in countries like the U.S. and the EU. The researchers studied the effects of both these compounds on two types of cultured human colon cancer cells. The iron supplements were used in quantities similar to normal supplemental doses. Another compound- ferrous sulphate- was also tested as it is also commonly used as a supplement. The results showed that while ferrous sulphate did not cause any change in the cells, the rest of the two compounds increased the formation of the cancer biomarker amphiregulin.
The results of the study are worrying, especially because consumers are not aware of which iron compound is present in over-the-counter iron supplements. Most of the iron that our body needs is fulfilled through the food that we eat. But in some cases, dietary iron is not enough, for example pregnant women need more than the normal dose of iron in their diet. Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin in the body. Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency of anemia is lethargy, lack of energy, etc.
Here are some of the best dietary sources of iron that you must include in your diet:
1. Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are very rich in iron. A 30 grams serving of cashew nuts can provide around 2mg of iron. Pumpkin and chia seeds are also good sources of the nutrient.
2. Soybean: Soybean and derived foods like tofu are great vegetarian sources of iron.
3. Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like dates, apricots, raisins are also great ways to load up on iron.
4. Brown Rice: Whole grains like brown rice should be included in your diet, if you're an anemic person.
5. Meat: Red meats and fish are great non-vegetarian sources of iron.
To increase iron uptake by the blood, one must eat foods rich in vitamin C, like broccoli, tomatoes, peas and green leafy vegetables.