Iron is a naturally-occuring micronutrient necessary for the normal function of the human body. It is a component of a number of essential proteins, including haemoglobin which is essential for transporting oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, which reduces energy levels and productivity.
Iron is needed to meet the increased blood volume associated with pregnancy. Adequate iron status during pregnancy (especially in early pregnancy), is crucial for reducing the risk of intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, low birth weight and perinatal mortality.
Good sources of dietary iron include red meats and fortified breakfast cereals such cornflakes.