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.

Muscle function

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.

Brain Power

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.

Some good options containing high concentrations of iron are foods such as liver, oysters, white beans, spinach, tofu, breakfast cereal, and unbelievably even dark chocolate is up there on the list.

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:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • weakness
  • feeling irritable
  • lack of concentration
  • dizziness
  • 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?

Women

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.

Research from the World Health Organization suggests that the effects of iron deficiency can cause complications in pregnancy. These include, increased risk of low birth weight or premature birth.

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.

Digestive Diseases

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.

Kidney Disease

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.

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement packs 22 mg iron per serving, and comes with additional vitamins C, B12 and folate to support absorption and utilization. To aid digestion, they have also included a raw probiotic and enzyme blend.

It’s gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, dairy free, non GMO and has no synthetic binders or fillers. If you want to go as natural as possible, this whole food dietary supplement could be a good choice.

On a side note, some people have experience mild digestive side effects.

Pros


  • 22 mg Iron
  • 25 mg vitamin C
  • 500 mcg vitamin B12
  • 400 mcg folate
  • 310 mg raw organic fruit and vegetable blend
  • 60 mg probiotic and enzyme blend
  • Gluten free
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Dairy free
  • No synthetic binders or fillers
  • Non GMO
  • 30 capsules

Cons


  • Some people experienced digestive side effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

To optimize iron levels and to make you feel more energized, this high quality supplement contains a dose of 25 mg iron per serving and comes with the additional vitamins C, B12, B6 and folic acid to improve absorption into the body.

The product is gluten, wheat and dairy free with no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, so could be suitable for those with intolerances.

The fact that this supplement is made in a GMP certified facility in the USA provides confidence of quality. With a 120 day supply, it’s good value for money too.

On the downside, once again some digestive side effects have been reported by people who have used this product previously.

Pros


  • 25 mg iron
  • 200 mg vitamin c
  • 25 mg vitamin b6
  • 100 mcg vitamin b12
  • 400 mcg folic acid
  • Gluten, wheat and dairy free
  • No magnesium stearate
  • Free from preservatives, artificial colors and flavors
  • GMP certified
  • No binders and fillers
  • Made in USA
  • Good value120 day supply

Cons


  • Bullet Point 1

Quality

Price

Our rating

To help boost iron levels and restore lost energy, this supplement comes with 26 mg iron per serving and the addition of vitamin C, B12 and folate. It also comes with an additional 125 mg of organic beetroot to nourish, purify and strengthen blood.

All of the quality ingredients are soy free, dairy free, non GMO and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. A 90 day supply using good quality real foods with a reasonable price.

Some people have experienced mild digestive side effects after using this product, which could be something to consider if you have pre-existing digestive issues.

Pros


  • 26 mg iron
  • 15 mg vitamin c
  • 30 mcg vitamin b12
  • 400 mg folate
  • 125 mg organic beetroot
  • Suitable for vegans & vegetarians
  • Soy free
  • Dairy free
  • Non GMO
  • 90 day supply
  • Good price

Cons


  • Some people experienced mild digestive side effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement supports healthy haemoglobin levels with a large dose of 30 mg iron. 100 mg of vitamin C is included to support absorption and 50 mg ginger root to aid digestion.

It’s suitable for vegans, with no artificial preservatives and gluten free so appeals to those with intolerances and restricted diets.

A 60 day supply at a low price makes this easy on the wallet if you are looking for a long term option. One downside could be the mild digestive side effects some people report - however this is likely with most iron supplements.

Pros


  • 30 mg iron
  • 100 mg vitamin C50 mg ginger root extract
  • 250 mg mineral rich fruit botanical blend
  • Gluten free
  • 60 day supply
  • Suitable for vegans
  • No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
  • Good value

Cons


  • Some people noticed slight digestive side effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

To assist natural energy production and overall well being, these chewable supplements are a good alternative if you struggle with taking tablets. It has a high dose of iron 27 mg per serving, with the addition of 100 mg vitamin C for better absorption.

This product is gluten free so could be a good choice for those with intolerances. It’s also non GMO. The price is not too bad either, making it an option for those who want a budget-friendly option.

The only downside is some people were disappointed by the taste.

Pros


  • 27 mg iron
  • 100 mg vitamin c
  • Chewable tablets
  • Gluten free
  • Non GMO
  • 90 day supply
  • Good value

Cons


  • Disappointing taste

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.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

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