If you do not get enough iron from your diet, the iron reserves in your body are used to ensure an efficient transport of oxygen. Once your iron reserves are depleted, the formation of the hemoglobin is affected and the red blood cells in your body cannot carry sufficient oxygen to where it is needed. When you reach this stage, you have an iron deficiency or low iron and anemia results. Low iron can be the result of a minimal dietary intake of iron, excessive blood loss or poor iron absorption.
Low Iron Symptoms
When you suffer from low iron or iron deficiency, some of the most common symptoms are:
- chronic weakness and tiredness, even fainting
- short attention span
- decreased performance at school or work
- late cognitive development in infants, toddlers and young children
- susceptibility to infection
- swelling of the tongue
- difficulty maintaining body temperature, always feeling cold
Unfortunately, many people do not know they have low iron or anemia for quite some time as the symptoms can be so generic and often just seen as general tiredness or stress. It is not surprising that parents initially dismiss low iron symptoms in teenagers as ‘laziness’. The groups that are at risk of low iron are children, teenagers, women of child-bearing age pregnant women, athletes, and older people.
How Do You Become Iron Deficient?
One reason you may become iron deficient is simply that you do not have a high enough iron intake. And the solution to this problem is easy: find out what the best Iron Rich Foods are and how you can maximize them in your daily diet. It does require a bit of learning because chewing on a nail for the rest of the day is not going to fix your iron intake.
Once you do eat enough Iron Rich Foods you’ll only absorb around 10% or so of the iron in your diet assuming you have and good, mixed diet and are healthy. For popular foods like fruits, vegetables like spinach and eggs the absorption can be even a lot lower. Bottom line, you need to educate yourself. But you can find it all here at Iron Rich Foods.
Another way you may become iron deficient is by losing blood and with it the precious iron contained in the blood’s hemoglobin. This explains why it is women who are the main victims of Iron Deficiency; every month they lose blood for up to forty years of their life. Each period a woman typically loses about 30 ml of blood which contains some 15 mg of iron. And the lost iron can only be replenished by increasing your iron intake through the foods you eat. Pregnancy makes the iron loses substantially larger, so much so that the recommended iron intake for pregnant women is 50% higher than those who are not pregnant.
Any other sources of blood loss can also lead to a condition of low iron, sometimes these can be obvious like heavy periods, nosebleeds or bleeding hemorrhoids. Sometimes the blood loss can be concealed like a peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease or others. This is why it’s important to see a doctor when you believe you might be iron deficient as unless you treat the underlying cause for your condition increasing your iron intake through a better diet or even Iron Supplements may not be sufficient.
Knowing that it’s the women who suffer most from Iron Deficiency and ultimately the anemia that follows on, you’d think that the diet of the average woman reflects her increased need for iron, but in fact the reverse is the case. More often than not it is men who eat the big steaks, quarter pounders, liver or oily fish whilst women tend to graze on salads and dairy products – good for vitamins but useless for iron! On top of that, it’s usually women who go on the latest diet denying themselves foods they feel are fattening like red meat or chocolate. But unfortunately both are among the best sources of absorbable iron.
Help Yourself Beat Anemia
The good news is that iron deficiency anemia and even anemia from one of the other, less common causes is preventable. Iron Rich Foods will help you avoid Iron Deficiency by showing you what foods to eat, what foods to combine and what foods to avoid. We will even help you find the best Iron Supplements on the market. But, if you’ve come too late to prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia then don’t worry – Anemia is one health disorder that responds very well to effective treatment so you do not have to live tired for the rest of your life!
Sources of Iron
Since iron is not something our body makes, but something we get from the iron rich food we eat, the sources of iron can be split into two groups:
- Heme iron, which comes primarily from animal products rich in iron such as red meat, fish and poultry; and
- Non-heme iron, which comes primarily from iron rich plants such as grains, nuts, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruit
Meat contains both types of sources of iron listed above. About 55-60% of the iron in meat is non-heme; the rest is heme iron. Non-heme iron is consumed more through diet and is the type of iron present in most supplements.
Iron can also be found in iron rich foods like certain breakfast cereals. For more details, have a look at our list of Top 50 Iron Rich Foods.
When you eat foods that are high in iron, your body does not absorb all of the mineral contained in the food. The amount of the iron your body obtains from sources of iron is referred to as iron absorption. The actual amount of iron that your body absorbs depends on the amount of iron already stored in your body, the type of iron in the diet, and other dietary factors that enhance or inhibit iron absorption.
Of the three factors, the greatest is the amount of iron already stored in your body. Iron absorption rate increases when the body’s iron level is low. When the body’s iron stores are high, absorption is reduced to help protect against iron overload. Absorption of heme iron from meat sources of iron is not affected by your diet.
On the other hand, only 1% – 7% of the non heme iron in vegetables staples such as rice, maize, beans and wheat is absorbed when eaten on their own. This is why it is recommended that you eat these vegetable sources of iron with meat sources of iron. For example, meat proteins and vitamin C improve the absorption of non heme iron and are referred to as iron absorption enhancers.
The Food Guide Pyramid recommends a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This should provide plenty of vitamin C to enhance non heme iron absorption.
There are foods that do the opposite, and they are called Iron Absorption Inhibitors. Examples are tannins found in coffee or tea, dairy products, eggs, fiber and some types of chocolate. Calcium is another important mineral that can impair the absorption of both non-heme and heme iron. So if you need more iron, avoid these items to improve the amount of iron your body absorbs and prevent low iron symptoms.
Your body needs to maintain an ideal iron level in order to function properly. The required iron intake to maintain that optimum iron level varies from one individual to another as it dependent on gender, age and life stage.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA for iron for healthy individuals is listed in the following table. It is important to note that between the ages of 14 to 50, the iron requirement for women are significantly higher compared to men. In addition, iron requirement for pregnant women is at its highest at 27 mg/day. Since pregnant women may have a hard time meeting the RDA for iron, doctors typically recommend the use of an iron supplement.
|Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Iron
|> 18 years
|> 50 years
*This value is an Adequate Intake (AI) value. AI is used when there is not enough information known to set a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
Source: Dietary Reference Intakes, Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board as shown on www.cdc.gov
RDA and RDA Information
RDA is an acronym for Recommended Dietary Allowance, a dietary standard established by the Food and Nutrition Board. RDA refers to the recommended dietary intake of a nutrient. The values are based on the amount deemed sufficient in preventing a deficiency. The main RDAs consist of recommendations for protein, energy (calories) and important vitamins and minerals.
There are various misconceptions about RDA. Most people think “R” in RDA is “Required” and not “Recommended”. Since RDAs are established as a dietary standard for groups instead of individuals, RDA should just be used as a guide and not a requirement when planning and evaluating diets.
Another common misconception is about what “D” in RDA stands for. Most people think it stands for “Daily” instead of “Dietary”. It is more appropriate to refer to it as dietary allowance and not daily allowance, since you do not need to take in the RDA for each nutrient every day. For example, if you have an RDA for iron set at 18mg per day, you do not have to consume 18mg every day. Since your body stores nutrient for later use, you can consume less and make up for it on other days.
Another misconception is that RDA is for everyone. Quite the contrary, RDA for iron is NOT for everyone. RDA varies from one group to another, since different groups of people need to maintain different ideal iron levels. These groups are men, women, pregnant women and children. There are RDAs for various age groups too. Also, the RDA does not apply to infants. Instead, for infants the Adequate Intake or AI value is used. And finally, the RDA is not for people with medical conditions, since medical conditions alter iron needs and you will need to discuss your require iron intake with your doctor.
DRIs and DRIs
Nowadays, the RDA is part of a larger system commonly referred to as Dietary Reference Intake (DRI). DRI values are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes. These values can be used on diet planning and assessment to maintain ideal nutrient levels of healthy people. DRI values for iron are determined through scientific evaluation of the following categories:
Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) – These values pertain to the amount of iron that is expected to meet the needs of 50% of the people in an age group.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) – RDA for iron refers to the daily dietary intake level of iron, considered by the Food and Nutrition Board as sufficient in meeting the requirements of nearly all healthy individuals in each age gender, life-stage and condition (lactating or pregnant). The values are based on an iron level, which will not cause a deficiency in 98% of a population. RDA is computed based on the EAR for iron. This is usually more or less 20% higher than the EAR for iron.
Adequate Intake (AI) – AI values apply to a demographic group, wherein no RDA has been established. For iron, AI applies to infants, since there is not enough information to set an RDA. The established amount for AI for iron is “somewhat less firmly believed” to be adequate for infants.
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) – Iron is harmful in large amounts. UL values are established to caution against excessive intake of iron. It refers to the highest iron level that is not likely to pose risk of adverse health effects to approximately 98% of a population.
In the years to come, DRIs will replace RDAs. DRIs will focus more on reducing the risk of chronic diseases instead of preventing nutrient deficiency. DRIs include values that may decrease the risk of diseases that are diet-related.
UL and Consumption of UL for Iron
Many people assume that, since UL for iron means tolerable upper intake, it is best to try to consume the UL to get the most benefit. This is an incorrect assumption. In fact, the reason the term “tolerable upper intake” is used is to avoid implying that there are benefits associated in consuming more of the nutrient–in this case, iron.
Consuming more than the required iron level will do more harm than good. By following the UL, you are effectively cutting down the margin set between tolerable and harmful. As your intake of iron increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects also increases. In addition, your UL for iron actually refers to the total intake of iron from food, supplements and fortified food. It can be difficult to add up the total iron level from these sources in one day.
RDA Vs. Nutritional Facts Food Label
The Nutritional Facts food label in the United States includes percentages of nutrients based on the daily 2,000 calories per day diet. These percentages are referred to as Reference Daily Intake values. They were based on the highest value in the 1968 Recommended Dietary Allowances. This is to ensure that the needs of all gender, age and condition (lactating and pregnant) were met. However, it is important to note that Reference Daily Intake values were based on a 1968 RDA. A lot has changed since then.
Every ten years, RDA values are revisited and revised based on newly discovered scientific information. If you want to make sure that, your iron level is at a safe level, you should always refer to an updated table of RDA for iron, and you should not rely on nutritional labels for information. Nutritional labels are not updated and do not reflect the current recommendations. It is also important to remember that the iron percentages in the nutrition fact labels in the U.S. are based on RDA of 18mg/day.
If you’re diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia and need to find a suitable iron supplement / iron vitamin the wide supply of iron supplements on the market may make the choice between Neo’s blue and red pill seem easy!
This article was written to help you make a better, more informed choice and hopefully you will feedback your experiences with your chosen iron supplement (iron vitamin) in our poll so in the end we can all benefit from each other’s experiences.
Why You Need a Supplement
Eating an iron-rich diet and taking a multivitamin with iron may prevent iron deficiency anemia, but it is usually not enough to treat the anemia once it has developed. By this time your iron reserves are so low, you simply cannot restore them without the extra boost of an iron supplement or dedicated iron vitamin.
The iron supplement is needed to eliminate any low iron symptoms you may be experiencing and boost your levels of stored iron and hemoglobin. Once you have your iron levels restored you should be able to stop taking the iron supplement as long as you eat Iron Rich Foods and maximize iron absorption.
But that is where the good news ends as most iron supplements have severe side effects. Even dedicated iron vitamins can de difficult to digest.
These side effects range from nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dark colored stools to severe abdominal distress. If you have to take that iron supplement for 3 or even 6 months those side effects can severely impact the quality of your life and in some cases they just become too much to bear.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are iron supplements out there that the majority of people can take without too many nasty side effects, especially if the supplements are taking in the right way, at the right time of the day and in combination with the right foods. That is where this article comes in.
We have it pretty much all covered.
As Dr. William Ershler, MD, a hematologist at the National Institutes of Health, explains it is extremely important for you and your doctor to determine why you have iron deficiency anemia as well as treat the symptoms. Your iron deficiency anemia may well be an early sign of another disease. Finding the cause of your anemia can mean catching a potentially serious disease before it gets worse.
So if your iron deficient and your doctor wants you to take an iron supplement, you will need to find the supplement that is best for you. Iron supplements usually do not need a prescription, and are commonly sold in drug stores, supermarkets and of course online. There are a large number of iron vitamins / iron supplements available with different amounts of iron, different iron salts, complexes, combinations, and dosing regimens.
It’s all pretty confusing to be honest.
To make it all worse, each and every one of these iron supplements is heavily advertised as the best ever. You know, the one with no side effects.
So which one do you choose? Is there really a “best”? A one-size-fits-all approach?
Taking a trial and error approach is not recommended as many people find that they suffer pretty strong side effects when taking iron supplements for prolonged periods of time. The sooner you find an iron supplement that works for you the better. Your doctor usually hasn’t taken any of these supplements herself so in all honest she won’t be much help.
But together we can.
Some basic research, discussions with several doctors and getting both online and offline feedback from people taking these supplements has generated a short list of what are believed to be the very best iron supplements on the market. And we’ll list them later on in this article.
All right, before we go into the detailed review of the actual supplements let’s have a look at the science these supplements. Feel free to skip this section and just jump straight to the product recommendations.
Supplements – The Chemistry in Your Body
There are two general types of iron supplements and they contain either the ferrous or ferric form of iron. Ferrous iron, which is the best absorbed form of iron, is a positively charged iron and is combined with a counter ion (negatively charged). Popular and common counter ions are sulfate, gluconate and fumarate.
Typically, the way these compounds are made is that pure iron, usually as iron filings, is dissolved in acid. Once all the iron is dissolved, the counter ion is slowly added and the pH is brought back to neutrality. As this happens the iron is no longer soluble so it binds to the counter-ion and drops out of solution. The slurry is then dehydrated and the remaining dry matter is the iron salt. The way these supplements are manufactured also gives us some insight into have they work in the body.
Once you swallow an supplement the acid in your stomach leads the iron salt to be dissolved and the elemental iron can then be absorbed by your body. If your on anti-acids or H2 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), your stomach will have not be acid enough to dissolve iron salt and the supplement will be of no use to you.
As we said most available iron pills contain ferrous iron either as ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, or ferrous gluconate. While all three usually come in the same 325mg tablet size, each one contains a different amount of the form of iron used by your body, called “elemental iron”.
When you choose an iron supplement, you need to look at the amount of “elemental iron” in each tablet, instead of the size of the tablet. Typical amounts of elemental iron are as follows:
- Ferrous fumarate: 33% of elemental iron which means each 325mg tablet contains about 107mg of elemental iron
- Ferrous sulfate: 20% of elemental iron which means each 325mg tablet contains about 65mg of elemental iron
- Ferrous gluconate: 12% of elemental iron which means each 325mg tablet contains about 33mg of elemental iron
Ok, enough of the high school chemistry.
Dosing of Supplements
Adults will usually require a dose of 60-200 mg of elemental iron daily, depending on the severity of the anemia. But this is something you need to establish together with your doctor. What is important to know is that the amount of iron absorbed decreases as doses get larger. So you don’t want to take one large dose a day, but instead you should take your daily iron supplement in two or three equally spaced doses.
For adults who are not pregnant, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) generally recommends taking 50-60 mg of oral elemental iron (which is pretty much the amount of elemental iron in one 325 mg tablet of ferrous sulfate) twice daily for three months for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia. This is good guidance, but again, seek your doctor’s advice for your specific situation.
Tablets, Capsules or Liquid Supplements
Iron supplements come as regular tablets and capsules, liquid, drops, and coated or extended release tablets and capsules. Regular tablets and capsules are basically the best absorbed and are usually also the most economical. Liquid and drop iron supplements are necessary for young children and people with problems swallowing pills, but may temporarily stain your teeth. Iron from coated or delayed-release preparations may have fewer side effects, but are not as well absorbed and not usually recommended.
If your need to take an iron supplement, consider the type of iron and pill, as well as the cost. Remember, you will be taking it everyday for 3-6 months so cost is indeed important, but in the end the side effects become the most important to most people.
Controlling the Side Effects of Supplements
All iron supplements will cause your stool to become dark in color, and many people complain about an upset stomach and constipation as the result of taking an iron supplement. However for some the side effects are so sever it becomes hard or impossible to follow the recommended dosage.
Here are 6 tips to help you take your iron more comfortably and effectively:
- Iron supplements can upset your stomach. Starting with half the recommended dose and gradually increasing to the full dose can often help minimize these side effects.
- If iron makes you constipated, consider taking a stool softener such as docusate sodium along with your iron. Many products are available with this ingredient. Your pharmacist can help you choose the product that is best for you.
- Liquid iron supplements tend to stain the teeth. You can drink them through a straw or mix each dose in water, fruit juice, or tomato juice. Or do both. If you do find your teeth develop iron stains these can often be removed by brushing with baking soda.
- Milk, caffeine, antacids and calcium supplements can decrease iron absorption and should not be taken at the same time as iron supplements.
- Iron supplements are absorbed better if taken an hour before meals. However your doctor may tell you to take your iron with food to reduce an upset stomach.
- You can get the most benefit from iron pills if you take them with something high in vitamin C like citrus fruit, kiwis or just drink a glass of orange juice with it. Vitamin C is a iron absorption enhancer.
Once you are taking iron supplements, your doctor will monitor the effectiveness of the selected iron supplements by doing regular blood tests and tracking laboratory indices. If your anemic the levels of newly formed blood levels should increased after a few days of starting with the iron supplement. Hemoglobin typically increased within 2 to 3 weeks and after 3 months many people can stop taking the supplement and continue with an iron rich diet.
WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children younger than 6 years. In children, death has occurred from ingesting 200 mg of iron. It is important to keep iron supplements tightly capped and away from children’s reach. Any time excessive iron intake is suspected, immediately call your physician or Poison Control Center, or visit your local emergency room.
21st Century Iron Supplement Review
21st Century Iron 65 mg is distributed by 21st Century Healthcare Inc. The recommended dosage is 1 65mg tablet a day. This dosage is equivalent to 361 % of the Percent Daily Value for iron. This iron supplement has been tested and approved by Consumer Labs. They found that each tablet contained the stated value of iron and that the tablets did not exceed the contamination limit for lead.21st Century Iron 65 mg is sold in 100 tablet bottles and Consumer Labs found that the cost of 25 mg of iron from these tablets works out to approximately .02 cents. This was the best value for a high dose of iron out of all the tested iron supplements.
Each tablet contains 200 mg Dried Ferrous Sulfate which provides 65 mg of elemental iron. There are no other added vitamins or minerals in these iron supplements. In addition to the 65 mg of iron, these iron supplements also contain Di Calcium Phosphate, Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Silicon Dioxide, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Polydextrose and Artificial Colours (FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1, and Titanium Dioxide). 21stCentury Iron 65 mg iron supplements are guaranteed not to contain any salt, sugar, yeast or preservatives. They also state that these iron supplements do not contain any artificial flavours but as mentioned earlier they do contain artificial colours.
Most of the reviews for 21st Century Iron 65 mg iron supplements seem positive. Most people claim that the supplements have helped them a lot with improving their iron deficiencies or anemic conditions. A number of reviewers stated that these pills were the best they have ever taken. A couple of reviewers have reported switching from other iron supplements to these ones and found that they caused fewer side effects. In fact, no reviewers of 21st Century Iron 65 mg iron supplements have reported any of the side effects common to iron supplements. The common side effect of taking iron supplements include stomach upset, constipation, diarrhea or stomach cramps.
Many reviewers cite the price as one of the pluses of these iron supplements. These pills only cost .02 cents per 25 mg. so they are definitely economical to take. Some reviewer reported having to take as many as three pills a day so price was definitely a consideration when deciding which iron supplement to take.
One review reported some concern about Ferrous Sulfate destroying Vitamin E. This reviewer stated she had researched the issue and decided to switch to a different iron supplement that did not contain Ferrous Sulfate. If there is concern about Ferrous Sulfate interfering with Vitamin E absorption or even eliminating Vitamin E from your body and you still want to take 21st Century Iron 65 mg iron supplements, the reviewer recommended taking Vitamin E supplements approximately eight hours apart from taking 21st Century Iron 65 mg iron supplements.
Given the high dosage with these iron supplements, people need to be aware of possible overdoses. An overdose of iron can cause nausea, severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, pale skin, blue lips, and seizure (convulsions). Iron overdoses can be fatal, so if you think you are experiencing an overdose, seek immediate medical attention.
Consumer Labs has reported on a study of postmenopausal women. (Mursu, Ach Int Med 2011) This study found that there was a 3.9% increased risk of death over a 22 year period associated with postmenopausal women taking iron supplements. This risk increased as the amount of iron ingested increased. Dosages of fewer than 50 mg were grouped together so it is difficult to determine the risk of lower levels of iron.
Over all, for people who need to take high dosages of iron, these iron supplements are a good value for the money. The combination of being inexpensive and the lack of side effects reported by reviewers make these iron supplements a good choice.
Slow Fe Iron Supplement Review
Slow Fe iron supplements are distributed by Novartis Consumer Health Inc. The recommended dosage is one time release capsule per day. Each time release capsule delivers 45 mg of iron derived from Ferrous Sulfate which is equal to 250% of the Percent Daily Value for iron.
This iron supplement has been tested and approved by Consumer Labs. They found that each capsule contained the stated value of iron and that the capsules did not exceed the contamination limit for lead. These iron supplements are sold in packets of 90 capsules each. Consumer Labs has calculated that 25 mg. of iron from this supplement will cost you 0.15 cents.
Other than the 45 mg of iron, this iron supplement does not deliver any other mineral or vitamins. Other ingredients in these iron supplements include: Silicified Microcrystalline Cellulose, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Hypromellose, Carbomer Homopolymer, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) (Preservative), Magnesium Stearate, Tribasic Calcium Phosphate, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Polyethylene Glycol, Talc, FD&C Red 40 (CI 16035), Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Blue 1 (CI 42090).
The product information for Slow Fe iron supplements state that these iron supplements are clinically proven to reduce common side effects. The common side effect of taking iron supplements include stomach upset, constipation, diarrhea or stomach cramps. The product information also states that Ferrous Sulfate is the ingredient most recommended by doctors. The distributor claims that Slow Fe iron supplements come in a small easy to swallow tablet, and that the “unique controlled delivery system gives you the high potency iron you need with the gentleness you want.”
This product’s formula has been changed so anyone looking for information about Slow Fe iron supplements should make sure they are looking at the correct information. Some people have complained about the new formula and that they can no longer take these iron supplements but most people seem to be able to take them with little side effects.
Most reviewers report an increase in blood iron levels with little or no side effects. People report having a lot more energy through out the day than they did before taking these iron supplements. One reviewer did report having a bad reaction to these supplements. After taking it for two days, he felt nauseated and couldn’t eat for a week. Other people reported some mild constipation but for the most part, most reviews reported no side effects. A number of people have reported taking this supplement when they were pregnant and that it helped with their iron levels a lot without causing any difficulties.
Quite a few reviewers mentioned that they liked the fact that these iron supplements are slow release supplements. They stated that this really helped them avoid the usual side effects. In looking at the reviews, many reviewers agree with the product information that Slow Fe iron supplements are easy to swallow. There were no reported difficulties with swallowing these pills.
A lot of reviewers did report that they didn’t like the packaging. Many people had trouble getting the pills out of the packaging. A few reviewers reported that they would use box cutters to open the whole package and remove all the pills so they didn’t need to be bothered by trying to open the package every day. Another customer reported having to use scissors to get into the packaging and she would often end up cutting the iron supplement itself. A couple of people actually stated that they would not buy this product again because of the packaging.
Some reviewers also reported concerns about the price. They felt that this product was quite expensive although a number of people were able to find a cheaper price on the Internet than they could in pharmacy stores.
Over-all, these seem to be very popular iron supplements. There were a lot of reviews available and most of them were favourable. The biggest complaint about these supplements was not side effects but the packaging it came in. Very few people reported negative side effects with these pills. If you are looking for a good time release iron supplement then these may be appropriate for you.