Supplement Tips

How Long does Iron Supplement Require to Take Effect?


Supplements are not strange to our world anymore. As the iron insufficiency is rising as a controversial issue among us, the iron supplement has been received a high amount of concern. If you are prescribed with iron supplements by your physics or your doctor, you might ask yourself how long the iron supplements will stay in your system. Thus, in this article, we will provide adequate information to answer your doubts.

What does “iron supplements” means?

You might have heard of this supplement way before reading this article or at least have a brief information about what it is, however; we will answer the question under a scientific view.

First of all, iron is considered as one of the most important minerals found in human body. Hemoglobin, which comprises of about 67% of the iron level in our bodies, is the organism that assists in the transportation of oxygen from the lung to other parts of your body. And this mineral is the primary reason for the red color of our blood. It also transforms blood sugar into energy, offers energy for the muscles and reduces break time after intensive exercises. Moreover, iron plays an important in the renewal process, fresh and new hair production as well as the supportive role in immune system.

Without an appropriate diet, the iron insufficiency is quite likely to happen. Thus the supplements are discovered to work as a second iron source for our bodies. For the convenience, those products are handy in various forms, for instance, liquid, tablets, capsules, syrup, and powder. The supplements are most likely prescribed for those who are pregnant that are usually found with anemia, as well as athletes. Other purposes of using iron supplements also include depression, blood loss, and fatigue during menstruation.

How to realize that you have iron deficiency?

Many of us aren’t sure about our body’s exact health condition until severe signals and symptoms occur. And that is not an exception with those who have anemia as well. They are diagnosed with shortness of breath, faster heartbeats as well as continuously cold hands without a valid reason. Some people might experience hair loss, difficulty in digestion and sore tongue. As our body requires sufficient oxygen amount to function correctly, those with anemia will find it challenging to execute activities physically or often feel super tired of doing so. To ensure everything is under control, you should visit your doctor to do a blood test to find out the condition and proper treatment.

How long do iron supplements require to take effect?

Most likely, iron supplements will take about one week or less to start kick in. However, it is a somewhat complicated problem since the supplement’s effectiveness is established on various factors.


To understand your necessary amount before you take on any supplements is very essential. Regarding Dietary Supplements Office, children who are up to 12 years old aren’t  permitted to consume more than 40mg per day. Exceeding this amount of supplements might lead to iron excess consequences. Your child might experience stomach cramps, muscle pain, backache, and numbness.

For those who are from 12 years to 20 years old, they can consume up to 45mg per day. This limitation also applies to pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding mothers. However, it is the best if they can discuss with the doctors before taking any supplements because each might require different levels of iron supplements. For example, adults can take up to 300mg of iron each day. Therefore, is it essential to know your dosage before taking it?


Even iron has been considered as an essential element in your body; the absorption rate still plays an important role when it comes to supplements. The scientific proof behind this is that your body might require times to gain proper volume of the iron as high as it needs to consume water or lose weight. For example, taking 6 – 8 glasses of water simultaneously does not help you that much or abstaining two meals a day will just drive you even hungrier which consequently causes you eat more. Therefore, for the supplements to kick in, you should spread the intakes throughout days and weeks.

The supplement’s quality

Well, this seems to be quite obvious. Various brands sell an iron supplement that comes with different quality. In many countries, purchasing minerals and vitamins is restricted by law. When health claims and complaints are made, the trade office then comes down to the manufacturers and checks to ensure that they are following the rules properly. It explains that the trade office acts on customer’s behaviors only after the issue had happened. They do not have sufficient time or human resources to check every single manufacturer.

As a result, you should select those supplements from reputable factories or manufacturers as the supplement’s quality will directly affect your health. The better the quality of the iron supplement is, the higher absorption rate. That also means it will take lesser time to kick in.


Pretty apparent, isn’t it? Dairy products such as milk, yogurts, ice – cream, cheese, and calcium-rich products are considered as the significant factors that affect the absorption rate of iron supplement. A study has shown that infants that digest a large volume of cow’s or goat’s milk are exposed to the high probability of iron insufficiency than those do not.

You might take into account these following food list as they can influence iron absorption

–    Tea and coffee

–    Tofu and products of soya beans

–    Dietary fiber content

–    Phytates which is usually found in whole grains and beans

–    Polyphenols which is often found in fruits, wine, nuts, and vegetables.

These foods might affect your absorbability of iron supplements. To prevent this happening, you can take minimal volume at least two hours after taking the supplements to ensure that they affect.

Other supporting elements

Though it is the best when you can take the iron supplements on your empty stomach, several doctors claim that iron can be absorbed even better while vitamin C is with you. A cup of lemon juice to be taken with iron supplements not only enhances your immunity but it also assists your body to digest iron better. Moreover, you can consider taking lemon, berries, citrus fruit and kiwi to boost up the absorbability of your body. Different vitamin – C – containing vegetables including peppers, broccoli as well as tomatoes should be highly recommended too.

Usually, doctors will suggest you to continue taking iron supplement even though your iron level in your body has been balanced for six months. Thus it is imperative to monitor your health condition and keep track your iron deficiency to ensure that you have taken sufficient this essential element to your body.





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