Taking iron supplements is a common way to correct an iron deficiency. However, it can take as long as a year to replenish a depleted iron level. Your doctor will regularly monitor your iron levels using blood tests to make sure you are getting enough iron. In addition, your doctor will also look for underlying medical conditions or problems that might be causing a deficiency. Taking too much iron can be toxic.
Heme iron is more bioavailable
Heme iron is more bioavailable than nonheme iron, and is better absorbed by the body. Nonheme iron is found in plants, but is not as easily absorbed by the body. In the U.S., wheat is fortified with iron, and infant formula is fortified as well. While both types of iron are beneficial to the body, it's important to remember that heme iron is more bioavailable.
Heme iron is absorbed better by the body, and should be consumed two to three times a week. However, red meat should be eaten in moderation and should be paired with foods that reduce absorption of iron. Raw shellfish should also be avoided, as they may contain dangerous levels of iron. Several research studies have linked contaminated shellfish with an infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. Some older studies have even suggested that iron may be a contributor to V. vulnificus' spread.
Nonheme iron is found in animal foods
There are two types of iron in food: heme iron (found in animal flesh), and nonheme iron (found in plant foods). Heme iron is more readily absorbed by the body. This type of iron is a good source of iron for people with hemochromatosis.
In animal foods, you can find heme iron in organ meats, clams, mussels, lamb chops, and venison. In addition to being rich in heme iron, these foods are good sources of protein as well.
Ferrous sulfate is a type of salt that contains iron. It has the formula FeSO4xH2O and is found in several forms. Its most common form is heptahydrate. It has a number of industrial applications, but it is most commonly used in the treatment of iron deficiency.
Ferrous sulfate can interact with certain medications. You must follow directions on the label to avoid adverse reactions. Do not take more than recommended, and do not take it more than once a day. Make sure to take it on an empty stomach and not more than two hours before or after a meal. Take it with a full glass of water and do not crush or chew the tablet.
Ferrous gluconate is a form of iron that is often used in iron supplements. It is also marketed under the brand names Fergon, Ferralet, and Simron. Ferrous gluconate is an effective iron supplement that may be absorbed in the body. It has some side effects, but it is usually safe for most people. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using this supplement.
Ferrous gluconate can interact with other drugs and vitamins. Make sure to tell your doctor about all other drugs that you take. You may also be given a special diet or list of foods to avoid while taking ferrous gluconate. You should always follow the directions on the label and keep ferrous gluconate out of the reach of children. In addition, you should never take more ferrous gluconate than prescribed.