According to research, not getting enough iron can damage your heart health. Learn about iron deficiency and your risk for heart disease.
If you’re planning on living a long and fruitful life, then you need to take care of your heart health. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four Americans die from heart-related issues.
In other words, if you want to strengthen your heart, you’re going to have to make your health a priority. This means that you have to make sure you consume the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals – including iron.
Iron Deficiency and Heart Health
According to a study available in the European Society of Cardiology’s journal Heart Failure, iron deficiency may impact your heart. Researchers made two subgroups of people with iron deficiency: those with absolute iron deficiency and those with functional iron deficiency.
“Absolute iron deficiency is the traditional way of assessing iron status, but it misses circulating iron,” says Benedikt Schrage, MD. “The functional definition is more accurate as it includes both measures and picks up those with sufficient stores but not enough in circulation for the body to work properly.” Schrage is the study’s author from the University Heart and Vascular Center Hamburg, Germany.
The study shows that functional iron deficiency was associated with a 24% higher risk of coronary heart disease. Moreover, it shows that this group had a 26% elevated risk of death as a result of cardiovascular disease. Finally, it also shows they had a 12% higher risk of all-cause mortality compared to those without functional iron deficiency.
“The study showed that iron deficiency was highly prevalent in this middle-aged population, with nearly two-thirds having functional iron deficiency,” says Schrage. “These individuals were more likely to develop heart disease and were also more likely to die during the next 13 years.”
However, the team notes that more research is necessary to establish a direct cause-and-effect between iron deficiency and heart disease. “This was an observational study, and we cannot conclude that iron deficiency causes heart disease,” says Schrage. “However, evidence is growing that there is a link and these findings provide the basis for further research to confirm the results.”
While more research is necessary, it wouldn’t hurt to get a sufficient amount of iron in your body. If you experience a deficiency, you may feel fatigued, have pale skin, and have a hard time breathing. Foods that are rich in iron include beans, lentils, cashews, dark leafy vegetables, dried fruits like raisins, and more.
In addition, if you want to give your health an extra boost, you can take supplements like HeartBeet Complete. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and ingredients that promote your heart health. Try HeartBeet Complete along with a diet that fulfills your iron requirements to effectively support your heart health.