MegaFood | May 2022

What are the best iron supplements for women?

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 women is at risk for an iron deficiency. Low iron can result from issues that pertain specifically to women, like pregnancy and menstruation. Therefore, many women deal with low iron levels or iron deficiency at some point in their lives. And iron levels need to be something women start paying attention to as soon as they hit puberty. This often leads to a search for the best iron supplements for women.

The effects of low iron can be numerous and range from mild to serious symptoms. The Mayo Clinic reports these symptoms can include: extreme fatigue, heart palpitations, pale complexion, cold hands and feet, and dizziness.

Here, we share what causes iron deficiency in women, how much iron is recommended for women, and how iron levels can affect pregnancy.

Why do women need iron supplements?

As mentioned above, pregnancy and menstruation can result in low iron. Additional causes of iron deficiency can include chronic conditions, family history, diet, and intestinal disorders; in addition, age can be a factor in iron deficiency. If left unchecked, iron deficiency can sometimes lead to anemia, which may be a sign of a more serious health condition. Anemia, or iron-deficiency anemia, is a medical condition in which the lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells. It’s always a good idea to check a health care provider if there’s a suspicion of an iron deficiency.

What are the benefits of iron supplements for women?

Restoring iron levels isn’t a simple fix, but taking supplements can produce quicker changes in iron levels than modifying your diet. According to information provided by the University of Michigan Health, it can take as long as six months for iron levels to return to normal and for symptoms to alleviate. It requires being consistent with taking supplements as well as increasing iron in the diet.

How much iron should women take?

Women between 19 and 50 years of age need 18 mg of iron per day. Female athletes have higher needs to account for the amount of iron lost due to sweating during a workout. Women ages 51 and older need only 8 mg of iron per day. The best iron supplements for women offer the dosage that a doctor recommends for age and lifestyle.

What are the best iron supplements for women?

There are a variety of iron supplements available to women. One is MegaFood Blood BuilderⓇ Iron Supplement made with beets, oranges, and broccoli. It is designed to support menstruating women, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, athletes, and recent blood donors, all of whom are at increased risk of being low in iron.

How Does Low Iron Affect Pregnant Women?

According to the NIH, an insufficient intake of iron during pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of iron deficiency. A low intake of iron also increases her baby’s risk of low birth weight, premature birth, low iron stores, and impaired cognitive and behavioral development.

An analysis of 1999–2006 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that 18% of pregnant women in the United States had iron deficiency. Rates of deficiency were 6.9% among women in the first trimester, 14.3% in the second trimester and 29.7% in the third trimester.

Should pregnant women take an iron supplement?

According to the CDC, iron deficiency anemia during the first two trimesters of pregnancy is associated with a twofold increased risk for preterm delivery and a threefold increased risk for delivering a low-birthweight baby. Therefore, taking iron for pregnancy is something every expecting mom should discuss with their doctor. For those who are iron-deficient during pregnancy, a doctor may recommend supplements.

Is it necessary to talk to a doctor before taking an iron supplement?

Women should consult a doctor before taking an iron supplement to ensure proper dosage and to be careful not to overload the body with iron. Too much iron can actually lead to liver damage or other health complications.