Dietary Iron and Iron Supplements

Iron is one of the minerals vital to the existence of. Iron is a crucial component in the production the blood cells, particularly red blood cells that transport oxygen. Iron can be obtained from foods and supplementation. If you’re not getting enough iron, you could be diagnosed with anemia which is a deficiency in blood red blood cells. But, the majority of individuals in U.S. get their iron through food sources.

Why do people take iron?

Iron supplementation are typically utilized for specific types of anemia. Anemia may cause fatigue and other signs. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms associated with anemia take care of your doctor. Don’t attempt to manage it yourself.

Iron supplements are frequently recommended to treat anemia that is caused by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Kidney diseases
  • Chemotherapy

The people who could be at risk of being deficient in iron include premature infants or teens, children in the early years and pregnant women and those with particular health issues, such as chronic Crohn’s disease, heart failure celiac disease, ulcerative colitis. Iron supplements are typically advised for women who are pregnant or have children to reduce the risk of anemia. Before taking any iron supplements consult your medical practitioner if it’s appropriate for you.

How many grams of iron should you consume?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) includes iron that you absorb from your diet and any supplements you use.


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)


7-12 month

11 mg/day

3 to 5 years

7 mg/day

4-8 years old

10 mg/day

9-13 years old

8 mg/day


14-18 years old

15 mg/day

19-50 years old

18 mg/day

51 years old and over

8 mg/day


27 mg/day


For children under 19 10 mg/day

19 years or older 9 mg/day


14-18 years old

11 mg/day

19 and over

8 mg/day

Dietary restrictions may require vegetarians to consume more iron.

In large doses, iron is poisonous. For children and adults 14 and over the maximum dose -the highest dose that is safe to take safely is 45 mg per day. Children who are younger than 14 are not allowed to consume greater than 40 mg in a day.


It is suggested that the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that starting at 4 months age, full-term breastfeeding infants should be provided with 1 mg/kg daily of iron taken orally. The iron supplementation should continue until iron-rich food supplements, like iron-fortified cereals are included into the diet. A standard infant formula that has 12 mg/L iron is sufficient to meet the iron requirements of an infant up to the age of 1.

You can ask the medical doctor what amount of iron supplement your child or you should be taking, if there is there is any.

Iron can be obtained through food?

Most people find that eating a balanced diet will provide sufficient iron. Iron-rich foods that are naturally found include:

  • Fish, meat and birds
  • The vegetables include broccoli, kale, and spinach broccoli
  • Dry fruits and nuts
  • Beans, lentils and peas

Iron is also a component of numerous fortified foods including cereals, as well as enhanced breads.

Iron taken from animal sources is taken more efficiently by the body. However, you can assist your body absorb iron from plants by eating a food or a plant with a high content of Vitamin C (for instance red bell peppers, oranges, kiwis).

What are the dangers of using iron?

  • Side side effects: Taken at normal dosages, iron supplements can result in stomach discomfort as well as changes in stool and constipation.
  • Dangers: Don’t start taking iron supplements until your doctor or health professional informs you that you require them. This is particularly true if you suffer from a chronic health issue. Women who intend to become pregnant must talk to a healthcare practitioner prior to starting the daily intake of iron.
  • interactions: Iron can interact with a variety of medications and supplements. This includes antacids, proton pump inhibitors as well as antibioticscalcium and many more. Make sure that the doctor you consult is informed all prescription and non-prescription medications you’re using if they recommend that you use the iron supplements.
  • Overdose: Overdose of iron is a frequent cause of poisoning among children. It is a fatal condition. The signs of an iron overdose are extreme vomiting and diarrhea and stomach cramps, as well as skin that is pale or blue, fingernails, as well as weakening. These symptoms should be treated as an emergency medical condition. Get in touch with poison control and seek medical attention immediately.


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