Iron is a trace element which is needed by the body for the formation of blood. It’s a myth that vegan diets are too low in iron. “The research to date shows that vegetarians are no more likely than meat eaters to have iron-deficiency anemia”, says iron expert Janet Hunt, Ph.D., R.D., a research nutritionist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D.
Although iron is the nutrient that is most widely deficient in the general human population, excess iron store also contributes to illness. In particular, it has been linked as a co-conspirator in heart disease. Furthermore, iron deficiencies have been linked to dairy consumption, which may explain why iron deficiencies are so prevalent in Western cultures.
Eating red meat raises brain levels of iron, which may heighten the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease according to researchers from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Taking iron supplements may also be a contirbuting factor.
Additional information about iron: