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Ferrous Sulfate and Iron Deficiency

Ferrous Sulfate is the chemical name for the compound, made up of iron and sulfur.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. It’s especially common in women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and young children. Up to 80% of the world’s population may be affected by iron deficiency. Symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, pale skin, and cold hands and feet.

Iron is primarily absorbed in the small intestine, but this process can be hampered by other dietary components. Vitamin C has long been known to increase iron absorption in plant-based diets where the two nutrients are often consumed together. There’s also evidence that vitamin C can help with iron metabolism and storage in people who get enough dietary iron. Vitamin C supplements as well as iron supplements can also make up for any lack of vitamin C in the diet,



Ferrous Sulfate: Vitamin or Mineral

Ferrous sulfate is natural chemical compound found in food or as an iron supplement that is used to treat or prevent iron deficiency. It is a mineral that is found in many foods, and the body needs it to produce red blood cells. Ferrous sulfate as a supplement is available as a tablet, capsule, or liquid. It is usually taken once a day.

Ferrous sulfate has been used for decades as a way of treating and preventing iron deficiency and anemia (when red blood cells cannot deliver enough oxygen to the body). Ferrous sulfate is not a vitamin, but it is an important mineral for the body.


Ferrous Sulfate Dosages

Ferrous sulfate is usually recommended at a dose of 200mg/day when taken with vitamin C. The optimum dosage for a day can vary depending on how low a person’s iron levels are. It should be taken once a day at the same time of day to avoid confusion as to whether an individual missed a dose or not.

Ferrous sulfate can interfere with the absorption of other minerals and drugs, so it is best to take it two hours before or after taking any other supplements or medications.

There are no known risks associated with taking too much ferrous sulfate in the diet. However, it is always important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement,

Ferrous Sulfate Benefits


Ferrous sulfate works by helping the body absorb iron better. Vitamin C is often taken with ferrous sulfate to increase how much iron the body absorbs.

Ferrous sulfate has been used for decades as a way of treating and preventing iron deficiency and anemia (when red blood cells cannot deliver enough oxygen to the body). Ferrous sulfate is not a vitamin, but it is an important mineral for the body.

Some common benefits of taking ferrous sulfate include:

-Improved energy levels

-Reduced fatigue

-Fewer headaches

-Shinier hair and nails

-Less dizziness and lightheadedness

-Lowered risk of infection

How to Increase Ferrous Sulfate and Vitamin C


Most people get their iron from meat and other animal products, but vegetarians and vegans can also get enough iron by eating a variety of plant-based foods. One way to increase iron absorption is to eat foods that are high in vitamin C along with those that are high in iron. This combination helps the body absorb more iron.’

“We’ve known for a long time that vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron, which is the type found in plant foods,” says Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN. “Recently there’s been some research looking at this effect with heme iron—the kind found in animal products.”

The study, which was published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, found that adding vitamin C to a meal increased heme iron absorption by up to 33%. This suggests that adding vitamin C to meals may be especially important for people who get most of their iron from meat and other animal products.




It’s useful to note that Iron, (like Calcium, which is the most abundant metal in the human body) is a metal and in combination with the sulfur ion, makes ferrous sulfate, a mineral. Vitamin C is a vitamin, (obviously), primarily a complex combination of hydrogen and oxygen. Taken together, they can act synergistically to improve absorption, and bioavailability by your body.  Many people experience some form of anemia, which is a blood deficiency, resulting in nutrients and oxygen not being optimally available. So taking ferrous sulfate and vitamin  C together, either in a well balanced diet, or in the form of food supplements, can benefit overall health.

The material on this website is intended for educational information purposes only. It should not be seen as definitive, but as part of research process. It should not substitute or delay medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.