Iron (from mustard sprout, rice bran, rice fiber, whey mineral complex and organic vegetable powder)

Iron is an essential mineral that primarily functions in the movement of oxygen from the environment to the tissues. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Sources of heme iron include meat, fish and poultry. Sources of non-heme iron include beans, lentils, flours, cereals and grains. Iron levels are tightly regulated in the human body, mainly by controlling the amount of iron absorbed from food. The proportion of dietary iron absorbed is determined by the iron requirement of the individual; more iron present in the body means less iron is absorbed through the intestine. Heme iron is more easily absorbed than non-heme iron 1.

The risk of adverse effects from food sources of iron is low. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 18 mg iron for adults and children 4 or more years of age (21CFR101.9). RDIs are a set of dietary references for essential vitamins and minerals that are considered amounts sufficient to meet the daily requirements of healthy individuals. RDIs serve as the basis for calculating the percent daily value (%DV) amounts found on dietary supplement and food labels.

Mustard sprout. The greens and seeds of the Indian, or brown mustard plant, Brassica juncea, have been cultivated in Asia and Europe for thousands of years 2. Growing Indian mustard sprouts in mineral-enriched soil can increase the amount of minerals concentrated in the plant’s tissue. The sprouts can then be used in dietary supplements as sources of essential and trace minerals such as chromium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc 3.

Rice bran is made from the bran layer, underneath the hull layer, of rice, Oryza sativa. Rice bran is high in dietary fiber, and is an excellent source of protein, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and a number of minerals, such as iron and magnesium. It is also a good source of folate and riboflavin 4. Rice bran also contains beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols, along with the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 5.

Rice fiber is the soluble and insoluble fiber obtained from the bran layer of the rice kernel.

Whey mineral complex is a concentrated source of calcium and other minerals obtained from filtering whey. Besides calcium, it includes essential minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and iron. It can be used as an additive for various foods such as drinks for the purpose of providing nutrition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been notified that industry considers whey mineral concentrate to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for its intended use and has not objected to its use for this purpose (GRN No. 52).

Organic vegetable powders are obtained from organically grown vegetables, including broccoli, tomato, carrot, spinach and kale.


  1. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002
  2. Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK. The Concise Encyclopedia of Foods and Nutrition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1995.
  3. Elless M, Blaylock M, Huang J. Plants as a natural source of concentrated mineral nutritional supplements. Food Chem 2000;71:181-8.
  4. United States Department of Agriculture. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. 2008.
  5. Natural Medicines: Comprehensive Database. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2000.