Supplementing with iron may be unusual to you, but it has become necessary. These days, there’s a constantly increasing count of people with iron deficiency, particularly among infants, pregnant women, women with heavy menstrual flows and vegetarians, or vegans.
Iron is an important mineral in the body. A case of deficiency is thus inadvisable. When at the appropriate levels in the body, iron performs several benefits, most remarkably its role in the treatment of sickle cell anemia. There are, of course, several other benefits, which perhaps explain the rising acceptance of iron supplementation among us.
Fortunately, there are numerous options available if you’re supplementing with iron. Apart from the fact that there are various types and forms of iron supplements, they are also accessible in a wide range of dosages.
Types of Iron Supplements
There are many options available to you when you’re supplementing, usually found in capsule, tablet, and liquid form. Of all three, capsule supplementation is the most popular and used, and is thus the readily available choice for you. If you would, however, prefer any other form, especially its liquid form, as it is more tolerable, you can always get it from supermarkets or pharmacies.
Below, let’s take a look at the most effective types of iron supplements available today.
Ferric citrate is used to lessen the levels of phosphorus in the body and is specially recommended for patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases. When taken, this supplement type works by binding itself to phosphates in foods, so there are specific foods to eat for Ferric Citrate to work effectively.
Ferrous sulfate is typically prescribed as the first defense mechanism against sickle cell anemia. For a person suffering from anemia; thus, it is the first thing to go for, although your doctor could suggest something else.
Ferric sulfate is a compound made from sulfate and iron. Although not commonly available in supplement form, this compound is very beneficial in treating nutritional deficiencies and, thus, is a great choice to go for.
Ferrous gluconate is obtained through the iron salt found in gluconic acid. It is not geared towards a certain class of people like the other three previously mentioned. Rather, it is encompassing all categories and can be used to correct all deficiencies or just keep your iron levels intact and in good shape.
Ferrous sulfate is just as popular as ferrous gluconate, although your medical advisor may prescribe an entirely different type of iron supplement to you depending on your condition.
Benefits Of Supplementing With Iron
Routinely supplementing with iron is associated with many remarkable benefits. Also, iron supplements can be prescribed for people suffering from specific health conditions to ease symptoms or hasten up the healing process. Anyway, whichever category you fall in, below are the common benefits linked to iron supplementation.
Correction Of Nutritional Deficiency
Like said in the introduction, iron is a commonly deficient mineral in the body, and more often than not, leads, triggers, or contributes to particular nutritional deficiencies, especially anemia. Yes, iron deficiency plays a defining role in the development of anemia. Studies have suggested that lower levels of iron is linked with a higher risk of anemia, and for a good reason.
Iron is, after all, a necessary presence for the body to produce healthy red blood cells. So, if you’re facing any health challenge, continuous iron supplementation will help prevent or lessen the pain of symptoms, such as pale skin, brittle nails, weakness, and fatigue. However, if you do not have a health challenge, then regular supplementing with iron will ensure that you never do.
Promotion of Healthy Pregnancy
Iron, as a mineral, is crucial to fetal growth and development. Thus, controlled iron supplementation is recommended for pregnant women, particularly those keeping to a pregnancy diet. This will help to keep their iron levels at the required mark and therefore reduce or eliminate the risk of certain challenges, for example, premature delivery and low birth weight.
Remember that both challenges are cost-prohibitive to overcome. So, it is much more advisable to avoid any. However, before you can begin iron supplementation as a pregnant woman, you must see your doctor first.
Enhancement Of Immune Functions
The immune system, as you’ve always known, is the body’s defense against foreign, harmful pathogens. So, when this system is below its best, you are certain to be affected—but to what extent is what I can’t specify. The reason HIV/AIDS remains one of the deadliest diseases ever is that it eliminates the immune system, thus leaving the body susceptible to all diseases, ranging from the common cold to severe liver damage.
Cancer patients also experience poor immune function after chemotherapy, which should explain why they are often down with illnesses. You surely see the importance of an able immune system now, don’t you? By regularly supplementing with iron, you keep your immune system strengthened and equipped in case of an attack.
Improvement Of Sleep Quality
The consequences of sleep deprivation are severe and can be extreme if unattended to for long. When you can’t enjoy a good sleep, you’re perpetually weak and depleted, as excellent sleep is the finest way to refresh your body. Of course, there are various ways to improve sleep quality, but most are quite expensive.
Luckily, some recent studies have linked better sleeping quality to an increase in iron levels, thus leading to suggestions that regular iron supplementation is a sure way to sleep better. So, if you feel you could do better with your sleep quality, iron supplementation is an affordable way to go.
Concluding Thoughts on Supplementing With Iron
Supplementing with iron does as much good as getting iron directly from foods. Plus, it can be a much healthier option if you consider that most foods available these days are processed with artificial and harmful ingredients.
Iron supplementation is also cost-effective, so there’s no reason not to, except you’re okay with the consequences of depressed iron levels in the body. Before any decision, though, ensure to consult your doctor.