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Iron and Vitamin C for Anemia


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a close friend of iron. It aids in iron absorption in the blood, which gained it some popularity among people who have anemia. As a result, anemia patients started taking vitamin C and iron pills to enjoy the positive effects. But does vitamin C help with iron deficiency? You’ll have to read to know the answer!

Iron and Vitamin C Supplements

Due to the benefits of ascorbic acid and its synergistic effect with iron, doctors have advised people to take iron and vitamin C supplements together. This is mainly because vitamin C provides the stomach with acidity, which helps in dissolving the iron faster. As a result, iron absorption in the blood becomes a smoother process.

In addition, the latest technologies used in manufacturing vitamins have led more people to adopt the practice. For example, the newly fabricated liposomal vitamin C is cost-efficient and provides maximum absorption. Not to mention, vitamin C already has many benefits that positively affect our immune system, so it’d do no harm to take it on a daily basis in any case.

Vitamin C Dose for Iron Absorption

If you want to maximize iron absorption in your blood, you should take a specific dose of vitamin C daily. For men above 19 years old, a 90 mg daily dose will do wonders. Meanwhile, a 75 mg daily dose for women is enough, but it should be 85 mg for pregnant women.

As a rule of thumb, smokers need more vitamin C on a daily basis than nonsmokers. In that case, add an extra 35 mg to your daily dose.

Kindly note that you can take vitamin C through fruits like oranges and kiwis if you don’t prefer tablets and pills. They’re more delicious and just as effective.

What Is the Best Form of Iron to Take for Anemia?

Iron can be taken in many forms, including oral and intravenous supplements. But what should you take in case you have anemia?

First of all, intravenous supplements are only prescribed for people with medical conditions, such as people who can’t tolerate oral supplements and those who suffer from chronic blood loss. So if you aren’t one of those, stick to oral supplements.

Second of all, oral supplements have many forms. They can be taken as pills, salts, and liquids. As a known fact, ferrous salts like ferrous sulfate and ferrous gluconate are the best iron supplements to take. They work best when taken on an empty stomach, but since this may cause stomach irritation, it’s recommended to take them with meals.

In addition, iron supplements shouldn’t be taken with caffeine, milk, or calcium. They have adverse effects on the absorption of iron.

Lucky for you, buying iron supplements doesn’t require a prescription. You can choose the type you prefer and buy it. However, you shouldn’t take iron supplements on your own. You need to consult your healthcare provider first. This is mainly because high doses of iron can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Iron Dose for Anemia

Your doctor will tell you the iron dose you need for your anemia according to your medical condition. For adults, the number normally ranges from 100 mg to 200 mg per day.

If you don’t want to depend on supplements completely, you can maintain an iron-rich diet by having the following foods:

  • Kidney beans
  • Tofu
  • Oysters
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp

Does Vitamin C Help With Anemia?

Vitamin C is famous among people for mixing and matching with other supplements. That’s why it’s common for people to take zinc and vitamin C for colds and iron pills with vitamin C for better absorption, but does that really help?

Studies show that people who take a daily dose of vitamin C along with iron supplements have an improved absorption by up to 67%. It has also been found to increase the mean corpuscular volume, which is the average size of your red blood cells. So to sum it up, yes, it helps with anemia, but to an extent.

To elaborate, vitamin C doesn’t do magic. It won’t completely heal your anemia. Instead, its effect is minor compared to the big picture, but when it comes to health, any positive effect is needed. That’s why you should include fresh orange juice in your daily routine!

To Wrap Up

Vitamin C has many health benefits, and one of the most vital is maximizing iron absorption in the blood. Studies confirmed this fact, so as a result, vitamin C became a loyal companion of iron pills for people who suffer from anemia. For a better effect, people should maintain an iron-rich diet and have regular visits to the doctor.

Now that you have enough information about the topic, you can take iron and vitamin C together safely!

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.