Are you in the hunt for the best iron supplements for anemia? Then, read this article completely…
Generally, when you hear the word anemia or see it written on a medical diagnosis. It rings a red alarm for you to take care of.
Anemia is not a disease; it is a medical condition in which there are fewer than normal red blood cells. Or hemoglobin in each of the red blood cells is comparatively low. There are numerous causes of anemia, and the symptoms vary with the underlying cause.
Anemia can cause severe consequences affecting all of your body systems. Although dietary supplements cannot treat most anemias, vitamin deficiency anemia and iron deficiency anemia are preventable and curable.
Doctors recommend the use of dietary supplements that support the normal functioning of your body. Especially, the supplements that help regulate essential functions.
You need to discuss your condition with your doctor. If you are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, it is recommended to use the best iron supplements for anemia. If you take appropriate measures to cure anemia at the right time, it does not cause many complications.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a medical term that is now used among ordinary people as well. The dictionary meaning of anemia is lack of blood.
This deficiency can be in the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in each red blood cell. Our body needs a certain number of red blood cells and other blood cells (the white blood cells and platelets) in the plasma-the liquid part of the blood.
The primary function of blood, particularly the red blood cells, is to provide oxygen and nutrients to every cell in all the body’s systems.
If sufficient oxygen does not reach the cells of the organs, they cannot retain their biological functions and eventually die. The range of red blood cells is different among males, females, and children.
There are also differences in their number due to various physiological states and the location of the person. In places at higher altitudes, the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin is higher. The range varies to fulfill the oxygen requirements of the body.
The Red Blood Cells:
A Red blood cell is a biconcave disc-shaped cell that does not have a nucleus. The red blood cells are tiny in size, 7-8 micrometers, and their thickness is only 2.5 micrometers.
They are flexible to squeeze through narrow blood vessels and into the places outside the bloodstream to deliver oxygen.
Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule, is packed inside the red blood cells. The biconcave shape supports the function of the red blood cell. It also helps in the placement of needed amounts of hemoglobin in the cell.
The Role of Hemoglobin:
Hemoglobin is the main component of red blood cells. The characteristic red color of the red blood cell is due to the presence of hemoglobin. It consists of iron and proteins, so it is usually called a metalloprotein.
There are four protein chains in hemoglobin, and each chain has one iron attached to them. 70 % of the body’s iron is present in the hemoglobin or bounded to the protein chains.
The iron part of the hemoglobin picks up oxygen from the lungs. It performs the primary function of binding oxygen and carrying it to the most needed places. In 100 ml of blood of a healthy individual, there are about 12-20 grams of hemoglobin.
The oxygen binding capacity of the hemoglobin molecule is 1.34 mL oxygen per gram of hemoglobin. Besides oxygen, hemoglobin is also responsible for transporting other gasses such as carbon dioxide and nitric oxide.
Now that we know the importance of red blood cells and hemoglobin in our body. In short, now we can predict that its deficiency can cause severe effects on our body. Let us look at some of them.
Signs and Symptoms of Anemia:
The signs and symptoms that arise due to anemia are different due to different underlying causes. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Having little energy
- Shortness of breath
- Feverish feeling
- Altered taste
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Yellowish and pale skin
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Chest pain
Types of Anemia:
There are different types of anemia. These types are based on various underlying causes. Initially, they represent the mild symptoms that worsen as the disease condition worsens.
- Aplastic anemia
- Vitamin deficiency anemia
- Sickle cell anemia
- Iron deficiency anemia
Causes of Anemia:
The causes of anemia include:
- Heavy periods
- Long term illness
- Explained or unexplained bleeding
- Genetic disorders
The different types of anemia have other underlying causes. However, iron deficiency anemia is the most familiar type of anemia that affects young children and adults.
To clarify, iron deficiency anemia is preventable and curable. Its knowledge and proper management can lead to an excellent quality of life.
Iron Deficiency Anemia:
As the name indicates, this type of anemia arises due to a deficiency of iron. Certainly, we need iron daily. The recommended dose of daily intake is limited to 8.7 mg per day in males of age 18 and above. While 14.8 mg per day in females under 50 years of age. In women, the daily requirement is 8.7 mg per day.
The iron requirements in children vary with their age. The age and the daily iron requirements are mentioned in the table below:
|7-12 month||11 mg|
|1-3 years||7 mg|
|4-8 years||8 mg|
|9-13 years||8 mg|
|Teen years||Boys: 11 mg Girls: 15 mg|
That above-mentioned daily required dose can be easily fulfilled by taking a balanced diet. Iron is an essential mineral, and it is present in the food we consume. The sources of iron include red meat, poultry, seafood, leafy green vegetables, beans, peas, and dry fruits.
Need of Vitamin C:
However, the quantity of iron present in each of these sources is sometimes insufficient to fulfill the required daily dose. Thus, the deficiency eventually leads towards iron deficiency called anemia.
Sometimes lack of iron is secondary. Then the primary cause is the deficiency of vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for the absorption of iron from food sources.
A question may arise in your mind that these daily requirements are the typical intake values. But how much iron per day for anemia is recommended by specialists. So that a person may recover from anemic conditions and restore iron levels.
The answer to this question is complex. It generally depends on the leading cause of the iron deficiency and the severity of the anemic state. However, the solution to all causes of iron deficiency anemia is by taking the best iron supplements for anemia.
Different Forms of Iron In The Body:
There are different forms of iron in your body, heme iron, and non-heme iron. For us, heme iron is considerable as it plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of iron deficiency anemia.
Heme iron is present in Fe2+ form in the body. The Fe2+ ion is known as ferrous iron. In the hemoglobin molecule, the ferrous ion is chelated onto organic compounds to form the heme structure.
The other form of iron present in the body is Fe2+. T]It is the non-chelated iron to organic compounds referred to as ferrous ions and Fe3+ ferric ions.
Our body cannot synthesize iron and depends on dietary sources to meet its iron requirements. Moreover, the absorption capacity of iron from dietary sources is meager.
Most of the food items have iron in ferric ions. It is not readily absorbed through the intestinal walls. Even if absorbed, it does not become the heme iron- the ferric form. Ferric form is readily absorbed in the human body.
Conversion Into Absorbable Form:
The non-absorbable ferrous form is often converted into the absorbable ferric form to fulfill the body’s requirements. The site for this conversion is our G.I.T. system. It is where the low pH of our gastrointestinal tract reduces the ferrous iron into the ferric iron.
Other sites include the junction of the proximal duodenum or at the surface membrane of red blood cells with the help of an enzyme. The active ferrous ions perform the essential functions required by the iron in the body.
Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia:
The signs and symptoms particular to iron deficiency anemia include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Inflammation of tongue
- Soreness of tongue
- Altered heart rate: bradycardia/tachycardia
- Lightheadedness/ dizziness with or without the headache
- Brittle nails
- Pale skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Poor appetite
- Craving for unhealthy substances with no nutritional value, such as dirt, starch, and ice.
Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia:
In simple words, the leading cause of iron deficiency is a reduced amount of iron in the body. When our body cannot absorb iron sufficiently, iron deficiency anemia arises. The conditions include:
● Blood loss:
Explained or unexplained bleeding can cause severe blood loss and leads to iron deficiency anemia. Women who lose blood during heavy menstruation are at risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.
Sudden blood loss due to injury or chronic diseases that contribute to blood loss within the body is also one of the leading causes of anemia.
● An inability to absorb iron:
Our body absorbs iron from the duodenum of the small intestine. This absorption in the body from ingested food is the only source of iron for the body.
Any disease condition that affects the intestine’s ability to absorb iron or any other nutrient from the food can cause an iron deficiency that eventually results in iron deficiency anemia.
The ability to absorb iron also decreases if the part of the intestine is surgically removed or bypassed.
● Lack of iron in diet:
Food is the only source of iron for our bodies. If you consume food with too little iron in the long run, your body will become iron deficient. There are diverse sources of iron, ranging from poultry, meat, vegetables, and dry fruits.
But they all contain different forms of iron. An Imbalanced diet can bring iron to the body in a form that is not absorbable by the intestinal cells.
During pregnancy, the body’s requirements of red blood cells and hemoglobin increase drastically. It is done to support the growth of a growing fetus. The increased demand in due course causes iron deficiency anemia.
A balanced diet is usually insufficient to meet the body’s increased demand. So it is best to use the best iron supplement for pregnancy.
Types of Iron Supplements:
The type of iron supplement varies with the kind of ion it contains. As per the National Health Institute (N.I.H.), the types of iron supplements include:
- Ferrous sulfate
- Ferrous fumarate
- Ferric citrate
- Ferrous Gluconate
- Ferric sulfate
These iron supplements are effective, but they have different absorption patterns; hence they are prescribed in other conditions. Although iron supplements are harmless and side-effect-free, some people may experience mild side effects.
These include conditions such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence. If side effects, stop using the supplement right away and contact your physician for further assistance.
The physician can recommend the best iron supplement for a sensitive stomach and the best iron supplement for anemia without constipation.
The dosage of iron supplements depends upon the body’s physiological need and the severity of the anemic state. The supplement must fulfill the daily required amount of iron mentioned in the table.
Along with proper dosage, the timing of the supplement, how it is administered, and the role of other foods taken along the iron supplement also affect the absorption rate of iron in the body.
Do people often underestimate the value of asking how to take iron supplements for best absorption? Physicians suggest taking iron supplements in the morning on an empty stomach.
It is best to take iron supplements with a drink containing vitamin C to support iron absorption into the bloodstream. Milk, caffeinated beverages, calcium supplements, and antacids diminish the iron-absorbing capacity of the body. So it is better to avoid them before or after taking iron supplements.
Now that you are well aware of iron deficiency anemia. Ans you know that this condition can be prevented and cured using the correct type of iron supplements for anemia. You can apply this knowledge to choose the best-suited iron supplement from the list presented below.
10 Best Iron Supplements for Anemia:
1. Nature Made Iron:
Nature-made iron is a pharmacist-recommended iron supplement that supports red blood cells in performing their functions effectively.
The supplement contains a natural raspberry flavor in gummies. So it is a delicious treat while fulfilling the body’s iron requirement. Each gummy contains 9 mg iron in ferrous fumarate as intestinal cells readily absorb them.
The manufacturers recommend using two gummies per day. In order to support further absorption, the gummies also contain 40 mg of vitamin C. It is proven to enhance the absorption rate.
The gummies are adequate to deliver the recommended daily dose of iron and help in fighting against anemia. Nature-made iron supplements are free of artificial flavors and gluten.
2. Thorne Research Iron Supplement:
This well-known iron supplement contains bis-glycinate, 25 mg Iron per capsule for treating anemia. Thorne is a reputed manufacturing company with well-developed research clinics and 100+ teams to ensure transparency in the supplement formulation.
The ingredients include Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hypromellose, Silicon Dioxide, and Leucine. The main ingredient is Iron which is present in the total absorptive form to ensure anemia treatment.
One capsule per day is enough to fulfill your daily iron needs. Here Thorne research company also participates among the best iron supplements for anemia. Thorne iron supplement helps in blood building as iron is an essential mineral for forming new blood cells.
- Thorne iron supplement offers a great choice of dietary supplements to treat anemia.
- It treats significant signs of anemia like dizziness, shortness of breath, irritability, and drowsiness.
- Their company gives free shipping on different orders.
- You can choose your best suitable servings size.
- This supplement is gentle on the digestive tract and suitable for hair fall treatment.
- The supplement contains easy-to-swallow pills with no intense flavors or odor.
- Pregnant women should consult their physician before using it.
3. MegaFood Builder
MegaFood Builder is an effective iron supplement that also contains vitamin B-12 and folic acid for better results. It is a gluten-free vegan-based iron supplement enriched with the goodness of beets, oranges, and broccoli. These ingredients support iron levels in the body.
This formula also contains rice proteins from organic rice and hypromellose, which enhance it further. It is the best iron supplement for anemia without causing constipation and nausea.
Each tablet contains 26 mg of iron, 15 mg of vitamin C, and 30 mcg of vitamin B-12. It comes in the form of tablets, and each pill is enough to fulfill the body’s daily requirements.
4. Garden Of Life Iron Complex:
Garden of life iron complex is an effective supplement. It contains vitamin C, vitamin B-12, and folate along with iron. It does so to maximize support to hemoglobin and red blood cell structure.
The ingredients are vital to improving the frail condition of the body. Hence it is the best iron supplement for pregnancy. It contains additional benefits from raw organic fruits and vegetable blends. It also contains probiotics and enzymes filled in a vegetable-based capsule.
Each capsule provides support against anemia and supports the overall health of the heart, immune system, eyes, and reproductive system. The supplement is certified, and it is a non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free product. So it is safe for the pregnant lady and growing fetus.
5. Feosol Complete with Patented Bifera Iron Caplets
Feosol Complete with Patented Bifera Iron Caplets is one of the best iron supplements for anemia. It contains 28 mg iron per tablet. It contains iron in the form of iron polysaccharide iron complex and heme iron polypeptide as proferrin. The dual iron formula takes care of all your iron needs- the heme and non-heme iron.
Meat is the source of heme iron and vegetable are the source of non-heme iron. While providing enhanced absorption, the supplement does not offer any side effects. It prevents the conditions like nausea or constipation. Hence it is the best iron supplement for a sensitive stomach.
The supplement does not contain vitamin C or any added mineral for extra support as Feosol. Ultimately,, it does not need any help for complete absorption. Each tablet has a perfect shape, so it is easier to swallow with water or juice. You need to take one tablet any time of the day.
6. New Chapter Fermented Iron Food Complex
The manufacturers load the iron supplements with other probiotic blends and supplements. So it is easily digested without causing nausea or constipation. Due to the probiotic blend, this product can also be consumed on an empty stomach.
Each tablet contains 9 mg of iron in the form of ferrous fumarate along with 30 mg of vitamin C. It also contains probiotics to maximize the absorption of iron into the bloodstream. Ferrous fumarate is clinically proven to provide iron in the most absorbable form.
It is subjected to minimum toxicity and contributes to no gastrointestinal problems. The product is gluten-free, non-GMO, purely organic, and contains natural flavors of fruits extract.
7. FLORA Liquid Iron Supplement:
This supplement is pure vegan with a B vitamin to support anemia. It contains no added preservatives, coloring, and artificial flavors. It has 7.7 Oz of liquid Iron with pure vegan ingredients.
Flora iron supplement maintains healthy iron levels, which makes you feel energized all day long. The recommended dose for adults is two teaspoons twice a day, while two teaspoons once daily for children. Each teaspoon should be 10 ml.
Flora iron supplement contains vegan-based ingredients and naturally added vitamins. It includes a range of B vitamins (B1, B2, and B6) and vitamin C.
- It is a reliable memory support and energy support for its users.
- It is an excellent supplement for people with sensitive stomachs. So it doesn’t disturb the gut.
- Besides that, it has an exquisite taste which people like.
- Some people have issues with their packaging.
8. Bariatric Fusion Iron Supplement:
It is a daily iron supplement for anemia patients having an entire month serving. It contains 45 mg of iron per capsule. Bariatric fusion is the best iron supplement for surgery patients like gastric bypass.
It is also an affordable supplement with fewer delivery charges. One tablet per day is enough for fulfilling the body’s daily iron needs.
Bariatric fusion supplement is formulated with 21 Bariatric ingredients and 45 mg iron. The company has experience of over 15 years in this field.
Besides that, this supplement is also available in 1, 3, and 12 months’ serving sizes. Moreover, it is available in many different flavors. The main ingredients it contains are gelatin, silica, and magnesium stearate.
- It is also the best supplement for weight loss and hair fall treatment.
- The supplement contains easy-to-swallow capsules.
- It contains a massive amount of iron which makes it a total dose for fulfilling iron needs.
- Surgery patients can also use it without any harsh reaction.
- It contains adequate vitamins to allow maximum absorption of iron.
- It is a sugar-free, gluten-free product with no added preservatives.
- Their supplements are affordable and taste good.
- It contains gelatin which can cause an allergic reaction.
9. Solgar Gentle Iron:
It contains 25mg iron capsules with unflavored ingredients. Solgar gentle is one of the best iron supplements for anemia available in the market. It has 90 servings with kosher, gluten-free, and dairy-free formulas.
The significant ingredients it contains are iron with vegetable cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, and vegetable magnesium stearate.
It has only 25 mg iron which is considered gentle on your stomach and blood system. In addition, less iron doesn’t promote constipation or any allergic reaction. It is a safe formula for both men and women. It is an entirely unflavored formula.
Taking regular iron promotes average red cells production, which in turn treats anemia and its symptoms. Hence taking a good iron supplement like Solgar is an excellent choice for treating anemia.
- It is the best iron supplement that is gentle on the stomach for its powerful absorption capability.
- It is suitable for all age groups, men and women.
- It doesn’t contain any flavor.
10. Renzo’s Iron Supplements for Kids:
It is a dissolvable iron supplement for kids suffering from anemia. Renzo is an entirely vegan formula with no added artificial flavors or allergens, making it a safe recipe for kids.
It is gentle on the tummy, which is perfect for small kids. Moreover, it has zero sugar, is non-GMO, and is manufactured under an FDA facility, proving its complete transparency.
Renzo iron supplement for kids uses only naturally selected minerals and vitamins. It contains vitamin C, monk fruit extract, mannitol, vegetable stearate, and magnesium. Likewise, it includes some flavors also which are liked by kids.
- It contains no artificial coloring, flavors, or sugars.
- Available in yummy natural flavors.
- If your child doesn’t like the taste, the company gives a refund policy.
- It doesn’t contain hard pills to swallow.
- The formula is entirely safe and gentle for little angels.
- Its shelf life is not long enough.
Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia that can be easily prevented by taking a balanced diet. This anemia is also curable by taking iron supplements. There are various iron supplements. One should select the supplement that suits best for them.
Pregnant women and people with gastrointestinal sensitivity require special consideration for choosing a suitable supplement.
There is a wide range of supplements present in the market. Still, as per my opinion, the best iron supplement for anemia without constipation is MegaFood Builder. The best iron supplement for a sensitive stomach is New Chapter Fermented Iron Food Complex. While the best iron supplement for pregnancy is the Garden Of Life Iron Complex.
Click the link and order your favorite supplement right now. You can get these at Amazon and their official websites. Don’t miss the once in lifetime offers.
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