Iron is an essential mineral for the human body, mainly for blood health. It supports hemoglobin and myoglobin production to oxygenate the blood and muscles, helps create enzymes that metabolize energy, and supports the immune system supporting white blood cell production.
An iron deficiency can cause a range of health conditions, including anemia and fatigue. It’s a common issue for women of reproductive ages and athletes. Supplements can address low levels of iron in the body, but overuse can cause other adverse side effects. People typically take these supplements orally and as tablets, capsules, or liquids.
1. Thorne Iron Bisglycinate
Thorne’s Iron Bisglycinate is a pill providing the body with a highly absorbable form of iron. It features bisglycinate, a type of amino acid chelate that binds to iron and helps the body absorb it.
The effects of using this supplement include improving iron levels and relieving the related symptoms, like fatigue. Some people might notice improvements in athletic performance because healthy iron levels improve the oxygenation of the muscles.
There are typically no side effects for those who take Thorne’s Iron Bisglycinate as directed, though some people may experience digestive issues, like nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
Usage is one capsule per day. Excessive intake of this substance, or any iron supplements, can be toxic. People should not take this supplement with calcium or antacids because it could cause adverse reactions. Children and those pregnant or nursing should avoid this supplement.
People should know that Thorne Iron Bisglycinate contains no common allergens and is suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions.
A bottle of 60 capsules costs around $14, though subscribing to regular deliveries can save up to 20%.
2. BrainMD Iron Advanced Ferrochel
BrainMD Iron Advanced Ferrochel® is a supplement that claims to help people with low iron levels feel more energized, alert and focused. BrainMD Iron is a great option for those who are at risk of low iron levels, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, menstruating women, seniors, individuals with difficulty paying attention, and those who eat a vegetarian diet.
The BrainMD supplement uses Ferrochel®, a chelated form of iron bonded to the organic compound glycinate, which is known to be better absorbed and utilized by the body than the inexpensive ferrous sulfate form of iron found in most iron supplements.
According to BrainMD and the many people that have used the product, there are no side effects that have been reported with the use of BrainMD Iron. It is recommended to get your iron levels tested before taking any iron supplement.
BrainMD Iron contains clinically researched ingredients that have been shown to provide various benefits to the body and the brain. The supplement is formulated to provide maximum absorption and bioavailability. BrainMD Iron is free from any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Individuals who are allergic to any of the ingredients in BrainMD Iron should avoid using the supplement. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using the supplement, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
BrainMD Iron Advanced Ferrochel® is priced at $9.95 per bottle, which contains 30 capsules, making it a relatively affordable option compared to some other iron supplements on the market. BrainMD Iron is recommended to be taken daily with meals or as directed by a healthcare professional.
3. Megafood Blood Builder
Megafood Blood Builder is another iron supplement that uses real food in its formula, including beets and oranges. This supplement aims to boost iron levels in the blood to improve energy and support immune function. It contains some vitamin C to support easier absorption of the iron.
In terms of side effects, people generally tolerate this supplement well, but some may experience minor gastrointestinal side effects such as bloating or gas.
People should know that since Megafood Blood Builder contains no common allergens, it’s generally safe for people, including pregnant women and individuals with dietary restrictions.
Purchase a bottle of 90 tablets for around $25, though it’s possible to save more with a subscription. Take one tablet each day, and it’s gentle enough to have on an empty stomach.
4. Thorne Basic Prenatal
Thorne crafted a Basic Prenatal that provides several essential vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy. It contains forms of key nutrients, including iron.
This supplement can support a healthy pregnancy and fetal development, and might alleviate common pregnancy symptoms, like nausea and fatigue.
Thorne Basic Prenatal is generally well-tolerated, but possible side effects include gastrointestinal issues, like nausea or constipation. Individuals with a history of liver disease or similar chronic medical conditions should consult a physician before trying this supplement.
People should know that this supplement contains no common allergens, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.
A 90-day supply costs around $30, though it’s possible to save more with a subscription. Proper usage is three capsules every day with a snack or meal.
5. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron is a whole food iron source, meaning it’s made with a blend of organic fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, spinach, and beetroot. The capsules contain vitamins C and B12 to aid with absorption.
This supplement’s intended effect is to boost iron levels in the blood to reduce symptoms associated with low levels, like fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. It can also boost immunity and support healthy blood production.
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron is generally easy to digest and well-tolerated, however, some people might experience mild digestive side effects, like constipation or nausea.
People should know that this supplement is certified gluten-free and vegan, non-GMO verified, and certified by the non-profit B Lab.
Usage of this supplement is intended for adults only. Take one capsule each day, with or without food. The 30 capsules cost around $15, which is approximately a month’s supply.
6. Pure Encapsulations OptiFerin-C
Pure Encapsulations OptiFerin-C is a highly absorbable form of iron because it contains vitamin C and calcium to support absorption. This supplement should increase iron levels in the blood to offset the symptoms of iron deficiencies, support immunity, and improve blood production.
OptiFerin-C is gentle but can cause digestive side effects like other supplements, and excessive iron intake can be toxic. It should not be taken in combination with calcium or antacids, as these substances can interfere with iron absorption. Children and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this supplement.
People should know that this supplement contains no common allergens, making it a suitable choice for individuals with dietary restrictions.
A bottle of 60 capsules costs around $14. Take one capsule up to three times per day with a snack or meal.
7. NOW Iron 18 mg
NOW Iron 18 mg is another dietary supplement offering essential minerals necessary for healthy blood production. The effect of taking this supplement is increased iron levels to counteract a deficiency. It may also support immune function and overall health.
A benefit of choosing this supplement is that it contains a little less iron than others on the list, meaning it’s generally gentler on the digestive system and reduces the risk of overusing.
Like other iron supplements, NOW Iron 18 mg comes with the potential risk of digestive upset, namely constipation, nausea, or stomach discomfort.
People should know that this supplement contains no common allergens and should not be taken with calcium supplements or antacids, which can interfere with absorption. Children and pregnant or nursing people should avoid this supplement.
Purchase a container of 120 capsules on the NOW website for $13. Take one capsule each day with food to reduce the risk of side effects.
8. NatureMade Iron 65 mg Tablets
NatureMade is a popular name in supplements, and the brand packs a punch with this 65-milligram tablet. Like other NatureMade products, this one only contains high-quality ingredients and no artificial flavors or synthetic dyes.
The intended effects of the NatureMade Iron supplement are to boost iron levels in those struggling with deficiencies and the related symptoms.
The benefits of taking this supplement include the higher iron content, making it ideal for people with significantly depleted levels. Each bottle also contains a 180-day supply, making it one of the most affordable options.
Potential side effects for this supplement are similar to the others with the potential for digestive upset, especially with the higher iron content.
People should know that some prescription medications can reduce this supplement’s effectiveness, so it’s best to discuss potential contraindications with a physician.
A 180-day supply costs around $10. Adults should take one tablet each day to boost iron levels. It’s best to take this supplement with a full meal to help manage digestive upset.
9. Persona Iron with Vitamin C
Persona’s Iron with Vitamin C supplement is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly option with 18 milligrams of iron. The company created this supplement to support healthy blood cells without upsetting the digestive system.
Expected effects of using this supplement include boosting iron for people who don’t get enough through their diets to support daily use, including athletes and those pregnant or nursing.
Some benefits of this iron supplement include easy absorption and less chance of digestive upset due to the slightly lower iron content and gel exterior.
Potential side effects mirror those of other iron supplements, however, this one carries an additional issue for those with allergies. While these supplements do not directly contain any common allergens, there is the possibility of cross-contamination with several products, including soy, shellfish, gluten, and tree nuts.
The gel capsule can be taken up to three times a day with food and lots of water to help with absorption and ease digestive issues.
People should know that they could experience adverse effects if they take certain medications or have intestinal or liver problems.
Expect to pay a bit more than average for this supplement. The site only notes that it costs 31 cents per day, and people have to create an account to find out what the overall cost will be.
10. Care/of Iron
Care/of is a United States-based wellness company that created a line of clean supplements to promote healthier lifestyles. This product is certified CLEAN and third-party tested to ensure quality. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.
Though any adult can use it, the intended effect of this supplement is to replace the iron that’s lost during menstruation and pregnancy. It promotes healthy red blood cell production and helps resolve symptoms related to low iron levels, like fatigue.
Benefits of choosing this supplement include the clean ingredients and use of both calcium and magnesium ascorbate to support better, faster iron absorption. This combination intends to prevent the typical digestive upset associated with iron supplements.
Though Care/of formulated this iron supplement to be easier on the digestive system, some people experience side effects, like bloating and constipation.
Take one capsule between meals or with a small snack. Avoid taking calcium supplements with iron to ensure proper absorption.
People should know that this supplement was created as a prenatal supplement, meaning it’s generally safe for most adults. However, the company strongly suggests speaking with a physician before starting the supplement to ensure there are no contraindications due to medical conditions or prescription medications.
Purchasing this supplement through the Care/of site gets a 30-day supply for only $7, making it one of the most affordable options.
What Is an Iron Supplement?
An iron supplement is a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid taken to provide people with extra iron. While it’s possible to ingest enough iron through food, some people require additional support to maintain healthy levels.
It is beneficial to take iron supplements because they will help red blood cell formation, improving your immune system. People will also often notice they have extra energy.
Taking iron supplements as suggested is typically safe, though some people experience minor digestive upset in the beginning.
There are risks associated with taking too many iron supplements. Overusing iron supplements can lead to toxic levels in the body, which can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme stomach pain. If left untreated, iron toxicity can damage the liver and brain.
What Do Iron Supplements Do?
Iron supplements provide the human body with the iron it needs to function. Without iron, the body is unable to develop and produce hemoglobin for red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body to the lungs and muscles.
Iron is necessary for hormone production. As a result, people with low iron may have fertility issues. So, iron supplements are often prescribed to people struggling to get pregnant.
How Many Iron Supplements Does Our Body Need?
The amount of iron a person needs in their daily diet depends on their age, sex, and diet. Women usually need more iron because they use more during menstruation.
Diet is also a significant factor for many people who can’t get enough iron. It can occur because they don’t eat enough iron-rich foods or have an underlying medical condition that causes low iron.
Notably, there is a myth that vegetarians and people who stick with plant-based diets struggle to get the iron they need. There’s a tendency to push these supplements on vegans and vegetarians to meet their daily iron requirements, but it’s not always necessary. It’s best to seek a physician’s opinion and have blood work done before starting an iron supplement.
How Much Will It Cost for Iron Supplements?
Iron supplements cost anywhere from $9 up to $25 for a month’s supply. It’s a generally inexpensive supplement with most suppliers providing them at $15 or less per month. Many companies and retailers offer additional discounts for those who sign up for subscriptions through their websites.
What Health Supplements Can You Take With Iron?
There are several health supplements that can be taken with iron, depending on your individual needs and health goals. These health supplements include vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B12, Zinc and probiotics.