Do iron supplements help?

Iron supplements are a controversial topic in the world of health and wellness. Are they helpful, or just another passing trend? There’s so much information out there about iron supplements that it can be hard to make heads or tails of what is actually true. Fear not! This article will give you an all-access pass into the wonderful world of iron supplements. Hold onto your hats, folks; we’re going down the rabbit hole.

The Basics

Before delving into whether or not iron supplements are helpful, let’s explore what exactly they are – starting with some fancy science stuff:

What Is Iron?

Iron is a mineral that plays a critical role in carrying oxygen throughout our bodies. It helps our blood cells store and transport oxygen from our lungs to other parts of the body like muscles and organs.

Why Do We Need Iron?

Well, have you ever tried living without oxygen? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work out too well for us humans. If we don’t get enough iron in our diets, we might feel fatigued, weak, dizzy… Sound familiar? Yep! These symptoms could result from insufficient levels of iron in your body!

Where Can We Get Iron From Food?

You may have heard before that red meat – specifically beef – is high in iron content (which makes Brazil proud). But if you’re not really feeling steak at every meal time (understandable), you’ll be pleased to know that there are vegetarian options as well such as beans or spinach!

To Supplement Or Not To Supplement

Now that we understand why getting enough iron matters let’s discuss supplementation on top of food sources.

Hemoglobin vs Ferritin Levels

Proponents argue taking an additional supplement increases hemoglobin levels while opponents cite evidence proving only increased ferritin storage levels exist when supplementing. The former group stresses that increased hemoglobin is more important as it’s the critical transporter of oxygen via blood cells from lungs to other organs.

Harmful Effects?

A major argument against taking iron supplements revolve around possible toxicity caused by an excess concentration circuulating in our bodies, which could lead to tiredness, depression and even heart issues. In fact, one Swedish research report claimed took much iron can decrease lifespan with no scientific basis for the statement being found (what a bunch of Swedes).

What To Consider Before Starting Iron Supplements

So you’ve done your research and decided to try out some iron supplements – congrats! However there are a few things you need to consider before ingesting any form of supplement:

Consult Your Doctor

Make sure you speak with your doctor as too high or too low levels can pose health risks. Also if feeling sluggish or not ‘up-to-par’ fatigue may be associated with numerous reasons outside of poor iron consumption (one example: maybe steer clear chewing gum 18 hours day).

Supplement Form And Dosages

Supplements come in liquid forms such as tincture drops or pills/capsules but they also come in doses ranging from 30mg all the way up to several hundreds so make sure yours aligns with professional recommendations.

How Quickly Will An Improvement Be Noted?

Everyone’s body is different; thus improvement timelines will vary person-by-person following sarting supplementation(‘cause that makes sense). Patience should be exercised therefore and if observing negative side-effects like digestive discomfort stop use immediately.


Iron supplements have a lot going for them despite constant opposition surrounding potential toxicity on top fears over long-term impact uncertainties at this stage. Pay attention particularly when adding any additional medication due drug interactions being extremely common amongst pills such as aspirin and acid reducers call those nasty guys impish, you might leave the doctors’ more informed and prepared when it comes to this common mineral’s presence in your life(style).

The bottom-line: do your research, listen to your body, consult with a physician (you don’t need anymore Swedish reports giving bad advice alright)! Gotta jet; my iron supplement cocktail is calling.

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