Iron is notoriously difficult to absorb. Furthermore, the entire population loses a certain amount of iron (eg, in our urine, sweat, etc.) each day, and menstruating women lose even more iron when they get their periods each month. We require a certain amount of dietary iron to make up for these losses.
There are two types of dietary iron: Heme iron that comes from animal food sources (eg, meat, fish, and poultry) and non-heme iron that comes from both plants and animals. Non-heme iron is not absorbed as easily as heme iron, so individuals that don’t eat meat may struggle to get adequate bioavailable iron from their diet.
If you need a little more iron, supplements are a complementary way to increase your intake. As far as form goes, there’s a wide spectrum of quality, gentleness, and bioavailability in iron supplements. When in doubt, look for a supplement with ferrous bisglycinate (ie, the amino acid chelated form) for optimal absorption and gentleness. *
Whether you’re looking to increase your absorption of dietary non-heme iron (hey, vegans!) Or you’d just like to enhance the effectiveness of your iron supplementation, we’ve got a secret weapon that will help you maintain enough iron levels. * Enter: Vitamin C.