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How Much Iron Supplements Should I Take? | Find out With Additional 15 Most Asked Questions About Iron & Anemia On The Internet!

What You Need To Know About Iron Supplements

You're probably wondering how much iron supplements you should take, right?

I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up and walk through a scenario before answering the question, "How Much Iron Supplements Should I Take?"

What iron supplement should i take 

You were sitting around with your friends, and all of you were having your favourite snacks.

I'm going to guess pizza and cheese puffs, right? Suddenly, one of your friends lets out a massive yawn.

Even though it was not even that late in the evening, he complained about fatigue after exertion, poor appetite or decreased energy level, trouble concentrating, shortness of breath after exercise, a cold and you could notice his skin was becoming pale.

The question is, why was your friend experiencing those unusual symptoms?

The answer might surprise you because your friend might be suffering from iron deficiency anaemia.

The reason is simple. If your friend is not getting enough iron, there isn't going to be enough production of red blood cells that carry oxygen around his body.

And without enough oxygen, your friend isn't able to stay and function properly.

Therefore, without enough iron, your friend is definitely going to experience those anaemic symptoms.

If you want to know what you should do in this case, you will need to spend some time digesting this article because we have covered more than fifteen of the most frequently asked questions about iron and anaemia.

We are pretty sure you can't afford to miss this golden information. So let's get started!


  1. Introduction
  2. What Is Iron?
  3. What Is Iron Deficiency?
  4. What Types of Irons Are Needed In Our Body?
  5. How Does Iron Deficiency Cause Anaemia?
  6. Factors Responsible For Iron Deficiency
  7. Health Problems of Iron Deficiency
  8. What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?
  9. What Are Supplements?
  10. What Is Iron Supplement?
  11. How Do Iron Supplements Work?
  12. Are Iron Supplements Effective?
  13. Iron Supplements Benefits
  14. Will Iron Supplements Help Anaemia?
  15. How Iron Supplements Should Be Taken?
  16. When Should Iron Supplements Be Taken?
  17. How Long Do Iron Supplements Take to Work?
  18. Should I Take Iron Supplements During Pregnancy?
  19. Should Breastfeeding Mothers Take Iron Supplements?
  20. Why are Iron Supplements Not Working?
  21. Our Top Recommended Articles  for Your Health

What Is Iron?

Iron is a mineral that is essential for the body to function properly.

It is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body and helps create red blood cells.

It is also important for the production of DNA, enzymes, and muscle protein.

Most of the iron that the body needs is found in the iron-rich foods that we eat.

However, if you are an iron-deficient person, supplementation may be necessary.

Iron can be found in supplements in the form of iron oxide or iron sulfate.

Iron oxide is usually taken as a pill, while iron sulfate is usually used in liquid form.

What Is Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency, or iron-deficiency anaemia, is a condition in which a person does not have enough iron in their blood.

If left untreated, iron deficiency can ultimately lead to anaemia, which is a condition in which the body doesn't have enough red blood cells.

What Types of Irons Are Needed In Our Body?

When looking at iron supplementation, it is important to know that there are two types of iron everyone should be aware of, which are heme and non-heme.

What iron supplement should i take Types of iron needed

Heme iron comes from animal products like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, etc.

Non-heme iron comes from plant sources like beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables.

Heme iron is absorbed better than non-heme iron. That's why people who eat lots of meat tend to absorb more iron than those who don't.

However, both types of iron are absorbed well by the body.

How Does Iron Deficiency Cause Anaemia?

You know how you get really tired all the time and your skin gets yellow? Yeah, that's called anaemia, and it means that you have iron deficiency.

Your body doesn't have enough iron to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your organs and muscles. And without oxygen, you feel tired and less energetic than usual.

So here's a quick rundown of how anaemia happens, in three easy steps:

Step 1. Your body is like a big bank account. When you eat something full of iron (like meat), you can "open an account" with your body.

This means that your body stores the iron inside of its own cells and holds onto it until it needs it later on.

Step 2. When you need more iron (like if you're growing fast or if you're pregnant), your body will take some of the stored iron out of its cell bank account and use it to make new red blood cells for you.

The rest stays in the account for later!

Step 3. Things don't always go as planned. Sometimes, something happens where your body doesn't have enough iron in its storehouse to make new red blood cells for itself, which causes anaemia and leads to tiredness, pale skin, and feeling cold.

Factors Responsible For Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency can occur due to a number of factors, including

  1. Diets low in calories

  2. Lack of exercise

  3. Chronic medical conditions

  4. Heavy menstrual periods

  5. Pregnancy

  6. Blood loss

  7. malabsorption syndromes

  8. Alcoholism

  9. Chronic gastritis

  10. Crohn's disease

Health Problems of Iron Deficiency

Some of the common health problems associated with iron deficiency anaemia include:

  1. Heart disease

  2. Stroke

  3. Poor mental health.

  4. Fatigue

  5. Impairment of cognitive function

  6. Increased risk of infection

  7. Shortness of breath

  8. Difficulty doing daily tasks.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?

There are so many signs and symptoms of iron deficiency, but we shall be listing some common ones here for you.

  1. Fatigue after exertion

  2. Easy bruising or bleeding

  3. Poor appetite or decreased energy level

  4. Trouble concentrating

  5. Irritability

  6. Shortness of breath after exercise

  7. Pale skin

  8. Cold

What Are Supplements?

Supplements are substances that you can take as part of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle but which may not be synthesized by the human body.

They are made in laboratories from natural or synthetic components, some of which contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other nutrients necessary for health.

Supplements come under the general category known as "anti-oxidant" or "anti-stress" drugs.

For example, an essential nutrient called "trace minerals" is believed to enhance health and prolong life.

They do not replace a varied diet, but they can improve the nutritional status of a deficient person or those ingesting poor quality food and alternative anti-oxidant supplements.

What Is Iron Supplement?

An iron supplement is a nutritional or medicinal product that contains iron in the form of an iron-containing chemical.

It can also be composed of iron-sulfate or iron-sulfate complex, ferrous sulfate, and elemental iron.

They are very beneficial in times of deficiency as they remove calcium from your bloodstream, also helping maintain red cell levels where red cell loss occurs.

This vitamin helps give you more energy, which makes it much better than vitamin C. It is only advantageous if iron deficiency anaemia is the cause of those symptoms and conditions.

How Do Iron Supplements Work?

You should be aware now that iron supplements are used to treat iron deficiencies in humans.

They work by increasing the absorption of iron from food into the body.

This is done by increasing the amount of iron-binding protein that is present in the small intestine.

These proteins bind to the iron in foods and prevent it from being absorbed until they are broken down by enzymes produced by the stomach.

The iron-binding proteins are not affected by the type of food eaten. However, if the person does not eat regularly, then he/she may have low levels of these proteins.

In this case, taking iron supplements can help increase the amount of iron bound to the proteins.

Iron helps make haemoglobin that carries oxygen round the body

Let's look at another scenario. Since iron is an essential mineral needed for healthy blood cells, muscles, skin, hair, nails, and nerves' iron helps make haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

Haemoglobin contains iron atoms bound together in groups called heme molecules.

When you breathe in air, the oxygen binds to the heme molecules in the haemoglobin.

Then the haemoglobin transports oxygen to every cell in your body. This is how iron supplements work in your body.

The final scenario is that iron atoms in your body also help form myelin sheaths around nerve fibres.

Myelin sheaths insulate the nerve fibres and allow signals to travel quickly along the nerves.

Nerve impulses are sent via electrical impulses along the axon, which is the long extension of the neuron.

The axon travels down the length of the neuron to the synapse, where it releases chemical neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft.

At the synapse, the neurotransmitter triggers an action potential in the postsynaptic neuron.

This process repeats at each synapse until the signal reaches the end of the axon, where it is transmitted to another neuron.

That is the probable reason why iron is needed for proper brain functioning.

Are Iron Supplements Effective?

Iron supplements can be effective in treating anaemia, although there is no evidence that they are as effective as iron-rich foods for the prevention of anaemia.

Iron supplements are usually recommended for people who have a low intake of iron or who have anaemia due to a deficiency in iron.

Taking a supplement can help to increase your blood levels of iron, but it is important to note that not all iron supplements are created equal.

Some may contain ingredients that can cause side effects, such as stomach problems.

So, before you take an iron supplement, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. These iron supplements guidelines by WHO can be useful too.

Iron Supplements Benefits

Since there are many different types of iron supplements available on the market today, it means there are a lot of benefits they come with which we have already pointed out a lot of them.

The key thing to take note of is, all the benefits of iron you know about today, they are the same benefits you will derive from iron supplements.

Here are 20 benefits of iron supplements/irons we should remind you.

  1. They help your body produce Red Blood Cells

  2. They prevent iron deficiency anaemia

  3. It supports a healthy immune system

  4. They keep your metabolism healthy

  5. Maintain good heart health

  6. They are good for your brain

  7. Boost your mood

  8. Reduce the risk of infection

  9. Iron protect your body against free radicals and infections

  10. Aid in reducing fatigue

  11. Iron supplements are helpful for muscle function

  12. They help with memory

  13. Iron supplements are essential for oxygen transport

  14. They can prevent constipation

  15. They are helpful for your reproductive health

  16. They ensure healthy hair and nails

  17. Increase energy and stamina

  18. Improve your blood circulation

  19. Protect the body from the effects of ageing

  20. Help to prevent osteoporosis

Will Iron Supplements Help Anaemia?

Absolutely! Iron supplements are the best way to treat anaemia. Since anaemia is a condition that occurs when you don't have enough red blood cells in your system.

The lack of red blood cells means that your body isn't getting enough oxygen, which leads to health problems like fatigue and a weakened immune system.

One of the best ways to treat anaemia is with iron supplements.

These are pills that contain a concentrated amount of iron, which will help your body make more red blood cells and become healthier.

So if you think you have anaemia, it's important to see your doctor right away.

They'll be able to diagnose your condition with a simple blood test and get you started on the treatment as soon as possible.

How Iron Supplements Should Be Taken?

The answer is, it depends on your needs and what type of iron supplement you use, because there are a few different types, for example:

Ferrous sulfate: This type is typically recommended for people who have a low level of iron in their bodies.

It works best if you take it with orange juice or another citrus beverage that contains vitamin C.

You can also take it with meals that contain high levels of vitamin C to increase its absorption into your body.

Iron gluconate: This type is often recommended for children, but it can also be helpful for people who experience nausea or stomach pain when taking other forms of iron supplements.

My honest answer to how you should take iron supplements is to wait for your doctor's prescription or otherwise follow the manufacturer's guidelines.

When Should Iron Supplements Be Taken?

Iron can be lost through various means, such as menstruation, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

However, if you are deficient in iron, taking supplements can help restore your levels to normal.

The best time to take iron supplements is before anaemia occurs, as this is when your body needs the most iron.

Additionally, it is advisable to take iron supplements at least two hours before or four hours after meals to avoid stomach upset.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a low iron level due to a diet or lifestyle, it is best to consult your health care provider before taking iron supplements.

How Long Do Iron Supplements Take to Work?

Iron supplements can take up to two weeks to start working and can last for up to four weeks.

The length of time that they will work depends on a variety of factors listed below:

  1. The amount of iron that is taken

  2. Age

  3. The health of the person taking them

  4. The condition of the person's blood.

Should I Take Iron Supplements During Pregnancy?

There is currently no definitive evidence that taking iron supplements during pregnancy is harmful.

It is always important to speak with your doctor before starting a new diet or supplement regimen.

iron can increase the risks of birth defects in pregnancy

It is also important to be aware that iron status can change throughout the course of a pregnancy, so it is important to have regular blood tests to check your iron levels.

Additionally, it is important to note that taking iron supplements during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects, so it is always best to speak with your doctor before making any decisions.

Should Breastfeeding Mothers Take Iron Supplements?

There is some controversy surrounding whether or not breastfeeding mothers should take iron supplements.

Some experts believe that breastfeeding mothers don't need extra iron since their bodies already have enough.

Others believe that a small amount of iron can help to ensure that the baby is getting the proper amount of protein.

There is no clear answer as to whether or not breastfeeding mothers should go on iron supplements or not.

Just remember that it is always best to speak to your doctor or nutritionist before taking any supplements.

Why are Iron Supplements Not Working?

Iron supplements can be a great way to increase your intake of this important mineral, but if they are not working, there may be a few reasons.

First, if your iron supplement is not absorbed properly, it will not provide the benefits that you are looking for.

Secondly, if you are taking a supplement that is not specifically designed for iron supplementation, it may not provide the correct balance of minerals or ingredients.

Thirdly, if you are taking an iron supplement that is not regulated by the FDA, it may also contain harmful chemicals or heavy metals.

Therefore, if you are experiencing negative effects from taking an iron supplement, it is important to speak to your doctor about it.

They can help you determine the cause and recommend the best course of action.


With so many questions revolving around iron deficiency, it's no wonder it's one of the top health concerns.

In this article, we discussed the various aspects of iron deficiency and their possible causes, as well as offered tips on how to identify and deal with it.

We also discussed the role of iron in the body, the different types of iron supplements available, how supplements work, the benefits of taking iron supplements, when to take iron supplements, and whether or not iron supplements are effective for treating anaemia.

Finally, we answered some common questions about iron supplementation, such as whether or not pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should take them.

Are there any questions that you have not been able to find an answer to? Leave a comment down below and we will be happy to help!

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