It's always best to get your nutrients from whole foods in your diet whenever possible. Getting your iron levels tested regularly can be a great way to identify and treat low iron levels before they potentially develop into IDA. These supplements can be particularly helpful among people who are prone to low iron levels, especially if they’re unable to maintain a good iron status through diet alone, including (1, 3, 4, 5, 6): It’s important to note that taking iron supplements when they’re unnecessary could harm your health, partially because they typically contain high doses of iron, which can cause digestive issues and reduce the absorption of other nutrients in your gut (1). If you're unable to meet the recommended daily intake for iron from your diet alone, you may benefit from an iron supplement to prevent nutrient deficiencies. What are the Benefits of Iron Supplements? Men and women over the age of 50 need at least 8 milligrams of iron per day. Oxygen Carrier. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Anemia.org: Even Heathy Athletes Can Become Anemic, World Health Organization: Micronutrient Deficiencies: Iron Deficiency Anemia, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. 2021 2. The primary benefit of chelated iron is its ability to prevent low iron blood levels, preventing iron deficient anemia in those who are at high risk. Your brain requires iron for better cognitive function. Here are 7 incredibly common nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, people currently taking supplements to treat an iron deficiency should wait at least 3 months after beginning treatment, if not slightly longer, before getting their hemoglobin and ferritin levels retested. … This article discusses iron supplements, who may benefit from them, as well as the best ways to get your iron levels tested. Always check with your healthcare provider before adding a new supplement to your routine. However, it generally takes at least 3 months to completely replete hemoglobin levels and sometimes even longer to replete ferritin levels (7). Iron is a vital mineral with a variety of roles in bodily functioning. For prevention they are only recommended in those with poor absorption, heavy menstrual periods, pregnancy, hemodialysis, or a diet low in iron… This can put them at risk for iron…. Highly useful in the management of iron deficiency anemia.When the patient is responding to therapy, the hemoglobin usually rises at a rate of … One way of treating anemia is with oral iron supplements, including pills… It's also important for certain muscles cells. See your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Anemia... Boosts Hemoglobin. Increased need for iron supplements should be determined by your health care professional. She has worked in clinical nutrition, community health, fitness, health coaching, counseling and food service. This article discusses how much iron you may need based on different factors. Here are 10 signs and symptoms that you're deficient in iron. Erica Kannall is a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine. Keep in mind that these symptoms are typically most noticeable when low iron levels progress to IDA. Copyright Policy As such, they may need other treatments. It is … Low iron levels are common, especially in certain subsets of the population. Others who may experience low iron levels include vegetarians because vegetables are lower in iron than meat, seniors who often h… Certain people, including pregnant women, infants, young children, heavy exercisers, and those with certain medical conditions are more prone to low iron levels and should get their iron levels tested regularly. Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. Iron infusions can quickly increase your iron levels, more so than taking supplements or making changes to your diet. There’s also a connection to high levels of iron … The chief function of iron is to form hemoglobin, a red blood cell protein whose main purpose is to... Reduces Fatigue. Iron is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in many bodily functions. The foods you eat can influence how much iron your body ends up absorbing. Iron supplements, also known as iron salts and iron pills, are a number of iron formulations used to treat and prevent iron deficiency including iron deficiency anemia. . Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the Not all hair loss is due to genetics. Getting your blood tested is one of the best ways to diagnose low iron levels or IDA, as the conditions can be difficult to diagnose based on symptoms alone. … As a result, you may experience the following symptoms (1, 2): If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consider discussing diagnostic testing options with your healthcare provider to identify or rule out low iron levels or IDA. If you’re contemplating getting your iron levels tested, make sure to request a hemoglobin and hematocrit test along with a ferritin test. Having an iron deficiency inhibits your production of hemoglobin, which is essential for hair growth. Taking these supplements unnecessarily may also cause cell damage, and in severe cases, result in organ failure, coma, or death. The number of supplements available in vitamin and health food stores can make selecting the right supplement overwhelming. Thus, you may have low iron levels without experiencing any of these signs, especially in the early stages of iron depletion. If left untreated, they may develop into a more serious condition known as iron deficiency anemia (IDA) (1). The form of anemia that occurs as a result of iron deficiency can be treated by iron supplementation. … Mild functional … Regulates body temperature. Iron is an important facilitator that aids in regulating the temperature … For example, pregnant women have an increased need for iron to support fetal growth and expanding body fluids and tissues. Corrects nutritional deficiency: For those with low iron levels, taking a supplement can increase levels to prevent iron-deficiency anemiaand promote the production of healthy red blood cells. Though iron is typically linked to hemoglobin – the protein that transports oxygen around the body – it is also vital for energy production, antioxidant defense, DNA production, gene regulation, and the body’s detoxification process. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, you have an autoimmune condition, or you've been exposed to toxic chemicals, you may also need more iron. Iron is helpful for treating anemia, one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Stages of iron deficiency. Getting your iron levels tested regularly may help identify a deficiency before it progresses to IDA. How to Increase the Absorption of Iron From Foods, 21 Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Iron, 7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common, The Dark Side of Iron - Why Too Much is Harmful, difficulty regulating your body temperature or often feeling cold, hearing ringing, hissing, or buzzing noises inside your head, cravings for non-food items, such as ice or dirt — also known as, painful open sores in the corners of the mouth, an uncontrollable urge to move your legs — also known as, people with gastrointestinal disorders, such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, those taking iron-depleting medications, such as those used to reduce stomach acid, people regularly partaking in heavy exercise, those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, people with blood disorders, such as thalassemia or sickle cell anemia. Dietary iron exists in two forms: heme iron, which comes from animal products, and nonheme iron, which comes from plant foods. It … Close-up of a hand holding an iron supplement. Iron supplements can help reverse low iron levels or treat iron deficiency anemia. Your doctor may recommend an iron supplement if you have certain health conditions, such as anemia. Iron supplements are a great way to reverse a deficiency, especially if diet changes alone are unsuccessful (1). If you're not getting enough iron, you may develop iron-deficiency anemia. Therefore, if you have IDA and fail to notice any improvement in symptoms within the first 4–8 weeks of taking a supplement, consider getting your hemoglobin levels retested to check whether you’re responding to the treatment (7). Role of Iron. How often you should get your iron levels tested depends on your current iron status. Pregnant women need 27 milligrams every day, and breast-feeding women should get 9 milligrams daily. Low iron levels typically progress to IDA through these stages (1): Hemoglobin and hematocrit tests are commonly used to screen for iron deficiency. Identifying the earlier stages of depletion is beneficial, as doing so allows you to address the problem immediately — be it through diet modifications or supplements — rather than letting it progress to IDA before taking action. It's an integral part of the hemoglobin molecule found at the center of red blood cells. When it comes to your iron needs, things can get a bit tricky. Here are a few of the reasons you may want to consider taking an iron supplement: 1. A lot of people find that they enjoy benefits in how they feel after … IDA is a condition in which your blood doesn’t contain enough healthy, oxygen-carrying red blood cells. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, people with renal failure, celiac disease, Chron's disease and other gastrointestinal disorders may also benefit from an iron supplement. Liver pills benefits include increased energy levels, decreased adrenal fatigue, and thyroid issues. Iron is an essential mineral, but ingesting too much can cause severe harm. Make sure to get your iron levels checked beforehand, as taking them unnecessarily could harm your health. “The best supplements also include co-factors, which are other vitamins that help iron get absorbed and help your body make more red blood cells,” Foroutan says. However, they’re not considered sensitive, nor specific, and tend to only identify IDA — not the early stages of iron depletion (1). Mild iron deficiency. It improves your Cognitive Function. Hemoglobin aids in the transport of oxygen from your lungs to all of your cells. About the Mineral Iron Iron is a micronutrient, a mineral you need in small doses for proper body function. Other health benefits include prevention and reduction of anemia (during pregnancy as well), chronic diseases, cough, pre-dialysis anemia, and many others. Iron supplements can reverse sub-optimal iron levels. They also fight autoimmune diseases and bad cellular function. This is one of the most important benefits that you could get from an iron. Benefits Iron helps to preserve many vital functions in the body, including general energy and focus, gastrointestinal processes, the immune system, and the regulation of body temperature. Serum ferritin is currently considered the most cost-effective and efficient test for diagnosing an iron deficiency, especially in its early stages. Therefore, always speak to your healthcare professional about getting your or your child’s iron status tested before taking iron supplements, and always follow your healthcare provider’s dosage recommendations. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. Low iron levels are common, and they can cause unpleasant symptoms like tiredness, poor concentration, and frequent bouts of illness. Injectable iron is administered only by or under the supervision of your health care professional. Leaf Group Ltd. When your child stops breastfeeding or switches to solid foods, they might not be eating enough iron-rich foods. Anemia.org notes that you may need more iron if you are an endurance athlete involved in heavy training. Copyright © Health Benefits Treats Anemia. Privacy Policy Myoglobin helps your muscle cells store oxygen. diagnosis or treatment. The Office of Dietary Supplements notes that the Institute of Medicine sets daily recommended intakes for iron. If you have this condition, you can’t take any more iron in your body. Your body also needs iron for proper protein formation, immune function and cell differentiation. P… She holds a Bachelor of Science in clinical dietetics and nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh. Here are 21 iron-rich plant foods for vegetarians and vegans. However, iron deficiency is not always easy to spot, especially in its early stages. This can prevent symptoms like weakness, fatigue, brittle nails and pale skin. Getting your hemoglobin, hematocrit, and ferritin levels tested is the best way to identify an iron deficiency before it potentially develops into IDA. They are also used to treat iron or … Other forms of iron … Iron is … The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Those with no history of low iron levels may choose to get their levels tested once per year as a way to detect a potential iron deficiency in its early stages. Things like vitamin C, … Iron supplements can help reverse an iron deficiency when dietary changes alone are unsuccessful. To understand the importance of requesting certain blood tests over others, it may be useful to understand the three main stages of iron deficiency. Zahler Iron Complex. and This is a detailed review of the harmful effects of too much iron. Low iron levels are common and can, if left untreated, progress into iron deficiency anemia (IDA). About two-thirds of the bodys iron is found in hemoglobin. If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia and occurs when the body does not have enough iron. Terms of Use These supplements may be in the form of an oral capsule or, in some cases, an injection or intravenous administration. One complementary approach is to consider how your dietary and supplemental iron intakes compare with the recommended iron intakes (1). Taking liver pills in this condition will only worsen the iron … Iron supplements in the elderly may cause an increase in iron stores. Women 19 to 50 should get at least 18 milligrams daily. Myoglobin helps your muscle cells store oxygen. Symptoms often only appear once IDA has developed. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Even moderately elevated iron stores in the elderly may increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. , Last medically reviewed on August 24, 2020. That said, a small proportion of people either do not respond to oral iron supplements or experience side effects. You can increase your iron intake by eating meat, such as liver, beef, turkey, tuna and chicken; vegetable foods, such as soybeans, lentils, kidney beans and tofu; and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereal and oatmeal. All rights reserved. This combination is most effective at identifying an iron deficiency, even in its early stages. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. used as a substitute for professional medical advice, Iron is essential for good health, but many people are deficient in it. Iron Health Benefits Makes You Energetic Improves Appetite Aids Muscle Function Contributes To Brain Development Ensures A Healthy Pregnancy Enhances Immunity Alleviates … Negative side effects can occur in anyone, but appear especially fatal in children (1). Iron is a dietary mineral that’s necessary for your red blood cells to carry oxygen. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Many other health conditions can also increase your need for iron and cause you to benefit from an iron supplement. They can produce results quicker than diet interventions and are often considered the treatment method of choice. This condition occurs when your red blood cell count is below normal or when your red blood cells lack hemoglobin. If you're anemic, you may feel fatigued, weak, dizzy or irritable, and you may have headaches, low body temperature, pale skin and an irregular heart beat. Nutrient deficiencies may occur with almost every nutrient, but some are more likely than others. Iron is a nutrient that many people have a difficult time getting enough of in their diets. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Iron is an essential mineral needed to maintain your overall health. Taking iron supplements can help return their levels of this mineral to a healthy volume. If taking iron supplements, improvements in hemoglobin may be noticeable within 4 weeks. Price: $ Zahler Iron Complex provides 25 mg of iron bisglycinate per capsule … Take no more than 45 milligrams of elemental iron as a supplement. Iron is most commonly used for preventing and treating anemia caused by low iron levels. People who commonly suffer from low iron levels include infants who are breastfed or fed formula that is not sufficiently fortified with iron and children who may not eat an adequate diet with enough iron and need adequate iron due to rapid growth. Adding iron pills to your routine has been linked to a number of potential benefits. Consuming a source of vitamin C with iron or an iron supplement also helps to enhance iron absorption, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Hemoglobin carries oxygen through your blood to tissues and organs. In your body, iron becomes a part of your hemoglobin and myoglobin. The body needs iron to produce hemoglobin. According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, with at least 30 percent of the world's population suffering from anemia. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It's an integral part … But iron's work doesn't stop here. Multivitamins with iron are used to provide vitamins and iron that are not taken in through the diet. Iron comes as an individual supplement, or it may be combined with other vitamins and minerals. You get iron when you eat red meat, oysters, spinach and other dark leafy … However, few medical professionals routinely test for ferritin levels, so you may have to request this test specifically, in addition to hemoglobin and hematocrit tests, when visiting your doctor’s office. Iron is an essential mineral needed to maintain your overall health. Iron helps you produce red blood cells and deliver oxygen to tissues and cells. The health benefits of iron mainly include providing life-giving oxygen to organ systems through its role in red blood cell production. 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