Iron is an important mineral in the body. It plays a prominent role in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin and the formation of red blood cells and their oxygenation. Iron is also essential for many enzymatic functions and is important for growth. Iron is found in multiple food sources including meat, eggs, vegetables, grains, fruits, as well as many herbs and spices. Many physicians recommend an iron containing dietary supplement because it is thought that only about 10% of the iron we ingest from food is actually absorbed. Iron in dietary supplements can also be poorly absorbed depending on the source of the iron. It is generally accepted that ferrous salts are absorbed somewhat better than ferric compounds. Iron supplements can be irritating to the digestive tract, so the correct choice of an iron supplement is important for both absorption and gastrointestinal tolerance.