Iron from Food Sources

The reference nutrient intake (RNI) of iron is around 14mg/day for a woman aged between 19-50 and around 8mg/day for a man of the same age range. This takes into account that the average person is unable to absorb all of the iron from food sources. An adult woman needs to absorb between 1.5-2mg of iron per day. This increases to 3-6mg during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Many substances in iron-rich foods inhibit the absorption of iron that is why it's very difficult to get your RNI of iron from your diet. This is particularly true for women, pregnant women, children, teenagers, vegetarians and endurance athletes who are well-known to have an increased need for iron.

On average only 5-15%1 of iron from food sources is absorbed as most foods contain (or are consumed with) substances which inhibit the absorption of iron. Well known iron inhibitors include tannins found in tea, coffee and red wine or bran found in wheat, oats, maize and cereals. 

Spatone has been scientifically shown to have an average bio-availability of 40%2  (that is the iron available for absorption) compared to 15%1 from food sources.


1 Webster-Gandy J, Madden A, Holdsworth M Ed's (2006) Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

2 Nelsons Nutritional Study - The significant Impact of Spatone on Iron Levels, 2009