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Iron is recommended as part of a daily regimen for women's health and prenatal care. Iron plays a central role in transporting oxygen within the body. Proper supplementation can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia, which is the most common deficiency in the U.S., and the most common cause of anemia, especially among children and women during their childbearing years (Mahan & Stump, 1996). Iron-deficiency anemia results when red blood cells are not able to carry enough oxygen to meet the body's needs. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, poor concentration, and an increase in colds and infections. Iron also helps strengthen the immune system and aids in the manufacturing of collagen, a protein that builds connective tissues. In addition, a number of body processes require adequate iron, including the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which influence mood and behavior.
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