Free Access To Email Exclusive ContentGet notified and be the first to know when new & hot content drops


Download the Pottageofhealth App!

Continue reading in the app and explore more content from our exceptional editors.

Available on Google Play Available on App Store

Iron is one of the most important minerals in the body; it has many functions and benefits, including the production of myoglobin, a protein that helps provide oxygen for muscular cells and haemoglobin, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs around the body. Food sources for iron include spinach, meat, cereal, fish, beans, etc. 

While all human cells have iron, it is mainly found in red blood cells and muscles. Getting all the iron you need from your diet is relatively easy; still, some people are prone to iron deficiency, which is the most common cause of anaemia, especially in women and children. 

Iron supplements are used to restore low levels of iron in the body, treat iron deficiency and alleviate the symptoms of anaemia. This can help pregnant women who can’t get enough iron from their diet, people with low red blood cell count and others with chronic diseases. An iron supplement is not needed and doesn’t benefit people who do not have iron deficiency. 


The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron ranges from 7 to 27 mg daily, depending on age, gender, and health condition. The dosage is 50 to 100 mg daily, taken in divided doses to treat iron deficiency anaemia.  

Side Effects of Iron Supplement

Iron supplements are safe for most people when used in recommended doses; the tolerable upper intake level (UL) is 45 mg unless a physician recommends a higher dose for specific conditions. 

However, if you experience side effects, they will include nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting. To reduce side effects and increase absorption, take iron supplements with food.


Iron supplements may not work efficiently if you take them with foods like eggs, cheese, milk, yoghurt, tea, coffee, spinach, whole-grain bread, or cereals. So you either avoid them or take them in small quantities. 

Do not take antacids or calcium supplements when taking iron supplements; if you must use them simultaneously, it is best to space both products 2 hours apart to get the full benefits and avoid interactions. 

If you are already taking iron supplements as an injection, do not take them by mouth to avoid overdose and iron poisoning. Do not take the supplements for longer than 6 months without checking with your doctor to know your response to treatment.

If you think you have taken an overdose of iron supplements, call your healthcare provider immediately and show them the supplements you took. 

Iron pills can change the colour of your stool to greyish or greenish-black; it is normal, but be sure to mention any colour changes to your doctor because other conditions can cause changes in stool colour as well.

Previous article
Next article

Related Terms

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that causes a progressive decline in thinking, memory, organisation and learning; with time, it starts affecting a person's...


Promethazine is a medication used to treat allergies, motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, pain after surgery and anxiety before surgery. It is also used as...


Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that results in unpredictable hair loss due to the immune system attacking hair follicles. If there is total hair...

Connect with us