Best Iron Supplement For Anemia – Which Is The Best?

According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutrient disorder.  Iron deficiency can lead to low levels of hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells and it is responsible for carrying oxygen through the body.  A low level of hemoglobin is called anaemia and its most obvious symptom is excessive tiredness, other common symptoms include paleness, fainting and headaches.

 

Although we all need a certain level of iron, the exact level we need depends on various factors, including our age, gender and lifestyle.  Children have a particular need for iron, especially at key growth stages such as the first four years of life (above all the first year) and puberty (when girls need much more than boys).  Menstruating women and pregnant and nursing mothers also have a high need for iron.

 

Iron intake can be measured in different ways depending on the specific form of iron consumed and whether it is taken as food or in the form of a supplement.  For practical purposes, if you are taking supplements then it is best to check the packet to see what percentage of the RDA it contains.  The RDA is based on the needs of an average adult and supplements intended to be given to children will provide the relevant information for them.

 

In principle, even those with a heavy iron requirement can get all the iron they need from food.  Meat, poultry and fish are all recognized as good sources of iron and there are vegetarian- and even-vegan friendly sources of iron too.  Vegetarians can get iron from dairy products and both vegetarians and vegans can eat beans, legumes and nuts and their derivative products such as tofu and peanut butter.

iron supplement

If you are only experiencing very mild symptoms of anemia, then you may find that your condition improves if you simply increase the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet.  You may also find it helps to pay attention to how you are consuming iron, specifically what foods (and drinks) you are eating at the same time (or around the same time).  In short, calcium-rich foods block iron absorption whereas vitamin C-rich foods improve it.

 

This means that what you eat with your iron-rich food can make a huge difference as to how much your body benefits from it.  For example, if you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich together with a glass of milk, then the calcium in the milk will hinder iron absorption.  On the other hand, if you switch out that glass of milk for a glass of orange juice, then the vitamin C in the orange juice will help your body to absorb more of the iron.

 

Even though we should all, ideally, get all the nutrients we need from our food, the reality is that in the modern world many of us do need to supplement the nutrients we get from our diet.  This is particularly true of iron since so many of the best sources of iron are meat products, which a lot of people are cutting from their diet.  Similarly lactose intolerance and nut allergies may prevent people from eating the right foods in terms of iron intake.

 

In some cases, people may simply dislike many of the most iron-rich foods there are.  Adults may (or may not) hold their nose and swallow because it’s good for them, but young children and teenagers are likely to be a very different matter in this regard.  If either of the above decides they do not want to eat something, then good luck to the adult who tries to make them.

Taking a pill.

Even with adults, if there is a choice between forcing down foodstuffs you really don’t want to eat and taking a convenient supplement, then, realistically, there’s a lot to be said for just using a supplement.

 

With that in mind, we’ve collected the five iron supplements we consider to be our top picks.  Our judgement was based on iron content, taste (or lack thereof), ease of digestion and value for money.  We’ve included a pick for children and a pick which can be used by both adults and children.  In our opinion, there’s something in here for everyone and at an affordable price.

 

Best Nest Liquid Iron Supplement

Best Nest Liquid Iron Supplement comes in liquid form to make it as easy as possible to digest.  That makes this supplement a particularly good choice for children who suffer from anemia.  The chocolate flavor will appeal to them too.  This does actually legitimately taste like chocolate syrup and hence can get past the fussiest of eaters without a fight.

 

Even though it has a great, chocolate taste, the sweetening comes from Xanthan gum and monk fruit extract, so it’s OK on the teeth.  Best Nest Liquid Iron Supplement is also suitable for vegetarians and for those on halal and kosher diets.  Another plus is that it’s gluten free.

 

The Best Nest Liquid Iron Supplement is a pure iron supplement rather than a multivitamin, which means you have the choice of using it on its own, if iron is all you need, or adding another supplement.

 

Although this is not, strictly speaking, related to the quality of the product, those interested in buying ethically may like to know that Best Nest Liquid Iron Supplement is made in the U.S.A and that the Best Nest company has a strong commitment to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethical behaviour.

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MegaFood Blood Builder

MegaFood Blood Builder is made of all-natural ingredients, namely beetroot, broccoli, orange and S. cerevisiae, also known as yeast.  The only additions are vegetable lubricant and plant cellulose.  This formula delivers at least the recommended daily amount of iron, vitamin B12 and folate as well as a quarter of the RDA of vitamin C.

 

MegaFood Blood Builder is suitable for vegans and those following halal or kosher diets.  MegaFood is committed to the avoidance of genetically-modified organisms and, in recognition of this, the company has received the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from the Non-GMO Project.

 

The combination of nutrients not only helps to make the iron itself easier to absorb, but also helps to tackle the different causes of anemia.  At the same time, the fact that the iron content is derived from beetroot means that you also get the other benefits of this underrated vegetable, including its ability to cleanse and nourish the blood.

 

Although MegaFood Blood Builder is delivered in tablet form, the combination of a small size and all-natural ingredients means that it is very easy to digest.

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Nature Made Iron 65 mg

Nature Made Iron 65g contains 65g of elemental iron, which is  equivalent to 325 mb of iron in the form of ferrous sulphate.  The best way to describe this connection is that Nature Made Iron 65 mg is like instant coffee, whereas ferrous sulphate is what you get when you add the hot water.  Ultimately your body will convert the elemental iron in these tablets to the useable form of ferrous sulphate.

 

The iron content in the Nature Made Iron 65g tablets is equivalent to over 300% of the recommended daily allowance.  The tablets themselves are suitable for vegans and also for those following halal and kosher diets.

 

It has to be said that the taste of these pills is far from appealing, although they are small enough (and well-coated enough) to go down easily.  Those with more delicate stomachs may also wish to look elsewhere as elemental iron is more demanding on the digestive system than iron salts.  Having said that, these pills are unlikely to cause constipation.

 

All in all, Nature Made Iron is an affordable and convenient way of ensuring that they get enough iron.  Given that one pill is enough to provide over 300% of RDA some users might prefer to cut them in half, thus making them last longer and reducing the load on the digestive system.

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NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron Supplement for Infants and Toddlers

Even though NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron Supplement for Infants and Toddlers is billed as a multivitamin, which just happens to contain iron, it does provide 67% of the RDA of iron for infants under 12 months and 100% of the RDA of iron for children under 4 years and hence deserves to be taken seriously as an anemia treatment.

 

Anemia is a very common problem in infants and children, who have a particular need for iron to support their rapid growth.  Getting that iron into children can be a major problem for parents, since children may dislike natural sources of iron (or simply refuse to eat enough of them to get the iron they need).

 

NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron Supplement for Infants and Toddlers has been developed to be appealing to young taste buds and therefore has a sweet taste which many children enjoy.  The sweetness comes from Xanthan gum and fruit extracts, rather than from sugar.  The supplement is also gluten and lactose free and suitable for vegans and those on halal and kosher diets.

 

The liquid formula is very easy to give to children, particularly since the bottle comes with a dropper, so it’s always easy to measure out the right dosage.  The manufacturer recommends that the dose be placed directly into the child’s mouth and the taste means that many children are quite happy with this.  Some parents do, however, put it in a drink.

 

Another plus point about NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron Supplement for Infants and Toddlers is that it can be stored out of the refrigerator, which means parents can keep it tucked away where little hands can’t help themselves as a treat.

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Zahler Iron Complex

Zahler’s Iron Complex comes in the form of capsules, which are easier to digest than solid pills, furthermore the iron content comes via Ferrochel®, which is known for being particularly gentle on the digestive system.  The only added ingredients are magnesium stearate and rice flour so this product is suitable for vegans and also those following halal or kosher diets.

 

In addition to providing 25mg of iron, Zahler’s Iron Complex also contains 400 mcg of folic acid, 80 mcg of vitamin B12 and 60 mg of vitamin C.  Hence it provides at least the recommended daily amount of these nutrients (based on a diet of 2000 calories per day).  It is also a source of L-Histidine.  This formula ensures that Zahler’s Iron Complex address different causes of anemia to provide an effective solution.

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