What Are The Best Iron Supplement & Vitamins for 2017?
You may or may not be surprised to know that many people are lacking iron in their daily diets. The effects of anaemia are quite prevalent in today’s society.
For many Americans, the solution is simple - taking an iron supplement to prevent this deficiency. But with so many options available, where do you begin?
Well, you’re in the right place to find out. I’ve taken a look at some of the best iron supplements and vitamins for anaemia and examined their pros and cons to help you make the right choice for your body.
The Benefits of Iron
Iron is an essential mineral for your body’s health and wellbeing. It’s present in all human cells and has a number of vital functions within the body. Here are some of the most critical:
Gives you Energy
Iron is found mainly in red blood cells as a component of hemoglobin. The mineral’s primary responsibility is to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body - from head to toe. In simple terms, this is what gives your body fuel.
As this review states, 200 billion red blood cells are produced every day. These numbers translate into 20 ml of blood containing 6g of haemoglobin and 20 mg iron.
So as you can see, it is vital to consume enough iron. If you don’t, the red blood cells cannot produce enough oxygen to keep the body functioning proficiently. This is the reason why people often experience fatigue if their iron levels aren’t adequate.
Iron is also very import for muscle movement. Its lives in the muscle tissue as an element called myoglobin which contributes oxygen directly. This gives the muscle fuel to function. Without iron, your muscles would weaken.
The brain, like every other part of the body, requires oxygen to function. As iron plays a big role in transporting this fuel around the body, if there isn’t enough to keep the brain ticking over, the result is poor memory and concentration.
Fitness and Physical Performance
Iron is particularly important for those of us in the fitness community. As you exercise, your need for oxygen increases. You will need more iron to replenish levels.
One study looked at the effect of iron supplementation in athletes. They concluded that iron does not improve performance, but exercising can mimic induced iron deficiency and a decrease of haemoglobin was noted in the body.
If you don’t have enough iron in your blood, you have a condition known as “iron deficiency anaemia”. If you take too much, your body stores the excess and saves it for when it is required.
Sources of Iron
The recommended dietary allowance of iron in adult men is 8mg and for women 18 mg. In pregnancy, women should increase their intake further to 27 mg a day.
There are two types of iron, “heme” iron which comes from animals and “non heme” iron which can be found in plant based foods.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency anaemia is surprisingly common in today’s society. According to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, particularly in women of childbearing age.
The main symptoms include:
- feeling irritable
- lack of concentration
- pale complexion
Most people aren’t even aware they have it. This is mainly because the symptoms are often misread as simply part of busy everyday stresses and strains.
If you think you have iron deficiency anaemia it can be diagnosed by a simple blood test conducted by your doctor
Who is most at risk of Anaemia?
When it comes to risk of anaemia, women have the highest risk for a number of reasons:
Pregnant women need to consume more iron for extra blood and oxygen to keep the placenta and developing baby healthy.
Women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) are also at risk of anaemia. The clinical term menorrhagia is used when women experience heavier and longer than normal menstrual bleeding. When you lose blood, you lose iron.
Athletes and Regular Exercisers
In a study carried out on endurance athletes, the total loss of iron after training was approximately 0.75 mg/d higher than the reference value in men. In women it was slightly higher at 0.90 mg/d.
Other Groups at Risk
People with poor dietary habits, eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia and even extreme diets all carry a risk of iron deficiency
Cancer Patients Using Chemotherapy
One of the side effects of chemotherapy treatment is that the powerful drugs administered to fight the cancer cells also attack red blood cells. This then has a negative effect on the body’s ability to regenerate those cells.
People with gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease and those who have had gastrointestinal surgery are at higher risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.
Patients who undergo kidney dialysis can lose iron through blood loss in the treatment process. In addition, their kidneys don’t function properly so cannot generate enough red blood cells.
The Best Iron Supplement & Vitamins
When it comes to choosing supplements, it’s important to pick a product which suits your life and preferences. With so many options out there, a simple trip to the health food store can suddenly become a super stressful buying experience. To make things easier for you, I’ve looked at the products available and chosen five quality iron supplements to share with you today.
And The Winner Is...
For me it has to be the supplement from Garden of Life. It stands out from the crowd and ticks all the right boxes
Not only do you get a good dose of iron but you have additional benefits from the probiotic and enzyme blend for digestion and the vitamins to support absorption of the iron.
I love the whole-food natural ingredients which are appropriate for vegetarians and for those that have food intolerances. Overall, a safe choice for most people who are looking at starting an iron supplement.