Are you taking an Iron Supplement?
Here are questions we need to ask:
- How much Iron should we take?
- When is the best and worst times to take Iron supplements?
- Can I double the dose on alternate days?
Here are our top tips on how to get the best out of your iron supplement.
Get maximum absorption by understanding how Iron interacts with food and drinks. Foods that inhibit absorption include plant components in vegetables, tea and coffee (e.g., polyphenols, phytates), and calcium. “Giving 165 mg Ca as milk, cheese, or calcium chloride reduced absorption by 50-60%”.
Check the facts : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1984335/.
So take the above several hours away from Iron supplementation.
Vitamin C however will aid in absorption of oral iron, particularly when taken with meals. The ratio of 2:1 and will be provide even higher levels of absorption. That is, about 6 mg of elemental ascorbic acid for each 1 mg of iron. Check your supplement to see if it’s included or take it separately.
Foods that enhance your iron levels include, very well soaked and cooked beans & lentils, red meats, spinach, and citrus fruits.
Secondly, watch out for a down regulation (decrease) of absorption due to a protein called Hepcidin. Our bodies are smart and if too much iron is sensed then hepcidin levels will increase resulting in less iron being absorbed. This can be beneficial as we don’t want too much iron or a risk of developing hemochromatosis.
Therefore it can be beneficial to take your iron intermittently eg every second day, in the morning with a breakfast that includes fruit and meusli soaked well over night, with little dairy and possibly a double dose. For an deep dive into this very important topic, especially for women read more
Of course we are always available to chat at Bodywise about the best options for you!