However, pregnant women and breastfeeding women should take a higher dose (27mg and 30mg respectively).
Keep in mind that these recommendations are just that: recommendations.
If your doctor tells you that you need more than the standard dose of iron—such as when recovering from surgery or suffering from an illness—ask them how much extra is safe for you to take per day.
How to know if you're low on iron
If you're experiencing any of the following, it could be a sign that you're low on iron:
Fatigue, weakness, and breathlessness are common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia
Palpitations (a feeling of your heart beating too fast), tachycardia (rapid heart rate), dizziness and a racing pulse may also occur
Iron-deficiency anaemia can be associated with loss of libido and impotence in men who are sexually active.
It may also cause menstrual irregularities such as amenorrhoea or oligomenorrhea in women
Decreased energy level, including feeling tired after eating
Decreased mental function, such as trouble concentrating or remembering things clearly. This can also cause forgetfulness and confusion. A person may also have difficulty focusing on tasks (like reading) if they're iron deficient.
Decreased physical function—someone with anaemia might struggle to do routine chores like cleaning or vacuuming because they feel so weak and tired.
How does iron deficiency anaemia impact the body
Having enough iron is vital for:
Red blood cell formation
Oxygen transport to tissues and organs
Energy production in cells, including the brain
Growth and development (kids and teens)
Brain function—it's been called "the new vitamin" by some doctors because of its importance in cognitive function
Common causes of iron deficiency
Not eating enough iron-rich foods is the most common cause of iron deficiency.
Other factors that can increase your risk include:
Blood loss. Heavy bleeding such as frequent nosebleeds in adults, can cause anaemia from iron deficiency.
Inadequate absorption. Certain diseases, such as coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease, can prevent you from absorbing enough nutrients from food.
Pregnant and breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding will also need more iron because they lose blood during pregnancy and childbirth and through breast milk production.
Menstruation. Menstruation can make it difficult for some women to maintain healthy levels of haemoglobin - the protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues throughout our body. Women can require extra amounts of iron throughout different life stages (even before puberty).
Medication. A lack of iron can also be caused by certain medications that disrupt your body’s ability to absorb enough nutrients from food, e.g. antacids. Some antacids contain aluminium, which prevents iron absorption.
Diet. Ironically certain diets can also lead to low iron levels. For example, diets high in phytates - compounds found in plant-based foods - can interfere with iron absorption as well.
How to increase iron intake
It's important to keep in mind that not all sources of iron are created equal.
Food sources of iron
Some foods contain more absorbable forms of iron, while others have high amounts but lower bioavailability.
The following is a list of top food sources of iron:
Lean red meats (beef, lamb and pork)
Poultry (chicken and turkey)
Fish, such as salmon and tuna
Beans and legumes, such as black beans, chickpeas and lentils
Dried fruit like raisins
Dark leafy greens like spinach or kale. Vegetables like broccoli also contain small amounts of iron too.
One key point to note - make sure you consume vitamin C during meals with iron-rich foods so that the body can absorb the mineral more easily from food sources.
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits like oranges or tangerines; peppers such as sweet red peppers; tomatoes; broccoli; cauliflower; spinach; strawberries and cantaloupe melon.
If you suspect that your blood is lacking in iron, whether or not it is at a dangerous level, you can treat the condition with supplements.
Iron pills, or a liquid iron supplement are available over-the-counter, or are commonly prescribed by doctors to people who have been diagnosed with anaemia.
Or you can purchase a year's supply of iron supplements from Sealions today for just £5.
Iron supplements work quickly to replenish your body’s supply of iron within 24 hours and require no dietary changes on your part—in fact, it is best if you continue eating normally during treatment so that you don't cause an upset stomach or other digestive problems.
Risks and side effects of iron tablets
The most common side effects of iron supplements include constipation, stomach pain and nausea.
Iron supplements can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
In rare cases, they can cause headaches or dizziness.
Iron supplements may cause a rash, itching or hives in some people.
Rarely, taking too much iron causes anaemia (a condition where your blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells). The risk of this happening is higher if you have a genetic condition that makes it difficult to get rid of excess iron from the body.
Can you have too much iron?
Taking too much iron over time may damage the liver and kidneys.
There's no easy way to tell whether you have too much iron in your body, so it's important to be aware of the risks so that you can protect yourself from them.
Iron toxicity can occur even at low doses.
Iron toxicity symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps; they usually appear within 24 hours after taking an overdose of iron supplements.
Who shouldn't take an iron supplement?
You should not take an iron supplement if you have one of the following conditions:
Kidney disease. If you are experiencing kidney failure or have had a kidney transplant, it's important to consult with your doctor before taking an iron supplement. The body cannot properly filter out excess iron when either the kidneys or liver are damaged.
Hemochromatosis (hereditary iron overload). In this condition, too much iron builds up in different parts of the body, leading to severe health problems such as diabetes and liver damage. This is caused by a mutation in the HFE gene that causes more copper to be absorbed into cells than normal, which leads to increased absorption of other minerals like zinc and chromium (required for vitamin D metabolism) and prevents them from being broken down properly by enzymes that convert dietary fats into energy within our bodies.
Increase your iron levels without breaking the bank
Why should it cost the earth, literally and metaphorically, to ensure you maintain good health? Where's the sense in that?
When you sign up to a vitamin or mineral subscription company, the majority of your money goes into the company's bottom line and attractive plastic packaging.
At Sealions, we're on a mission to disrupt the supplement industry by offering cost effective supplements in eco-friendly packaging.
When you shop with us, you can take advantage of excellent prices and a quality guarantee.
Vegan-friendly iron supplements for everyone
At Sealions we always go out of our way to offer everyone everything they need for a healthier lifestyle.
Which is why our range of vitamins and minerals is suitable for all dietary needs, including vegan and vegetarian.
Too many vitamin packets are made of plastic. And we can't stand that.
As such, all of our vitamins and minerals come in compostable pouches.
Buy iron supplements at Sealions today
Our unique formulation of iron supplements comes in combination with Vitamin C, because vitamin C helps to increase iron absorption.
Each of our daily capsule contains 250mg of Vitamin C and 14mg of Iron.
With great deals on our entire range of supplements, normal formation of red blood cells, higher energy levels and a stronger immune system can be yours at the touch of a button.