Haemoglobin is a protein that plays an essential role in the body: it is present in red blood cells and binds molecular oxygen to facilitate its transport to all tissues. Each of the four polypeptide chains that make up the haemoglobin structure is tightly associated to a haem group, a chemical complex that contains an iron ion (Fe2+).
Low haemoglobin values may occur when the right amount of iron is not consumed through diet, in case of specific physiological conditions (pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation, childhood) or due to diseases that lead to poor intestinal absorption of iron introduced with the diet.
What are normal blood haemoglobin values?
In adults, haemoglobin levels should be above 13.4 g/dL for men and 12 g/dL for women. When the values are lower we may be dealing with a condition of low haemoglobin. In this case, the doctor will assess a suitable intervention to bring the values back to normal by acting to remove or mitigate the causes. If low haemoglobin is accompanied by an iron deficiency, iron supplementation may be suggested.
Low haemoglobin: causes
As for low iron levels, blood haemoglobin values may drop due to several factors. The main factors may be as follows:
Low iron intake through diet: approximately 60-80% of the iron consumed through diet is involved in the haemoglobin and myoglobin formation process. It follows that an inadequate diet, which does not provide the right amount of iron, can lower blood haemoglobin levels.
Physiological conditions: the rapid growth of the body in the first years of life in children, or certain physiological conditions (pregnancy, breastfeeding, heavy menstruation) may lead to a reduction in blood haemoglobin values.
Intestinal malabsorption: low iron, accompanied by low haemoglobin, may be related to certain conditions that decrease iron absorption in the intestine.
How do you maintain normal blood haemoglobin levels?
A varied and balanced diet is the first step to ensure the right amount of iron for the body. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to address iron deficiency with a food supplement.
The SiderAL® range of food supplements containing Sucrosomial® Iron can be useful when an iron deficiency needs to be addressed or when there is an increased need for this nutrient.