Taking Iron with Folic Acid: Is it SAFE or Not?

Short Answer: It is generally safe to take iron and folic acid together or one after another.

Iron and folic acid both are healthy supplements.

Iron contains the mineral iron and folic acid has the vitamin B9.

According to Ayurveda, iron and folic acid should not be taken together or one after another.

This is because iron is considered hot in nature and folic acid is cold.

Taking them together can create an imbalance in the body and affect the digestion and absorption of both nutrients.

Ayurveda also suggests that iron and folic acid should be taken with different foods.

Iron should be taken with sour foods like lemon or amla, while folic acid should be taken with sweet foods like honey or jaggery.

But according to science, iron and folic acid can be taken together or one after another without any harm.

In fact, some studies have shown that taking iron and folic acid together can improve the absorption of both nutrients and prevent anemia.

Science also recommends that iron and folic acid should be taken with vitamin C, as it enhances their bioavailability.

As a nutritionist, my advice is to try first.

If after taking iron and folic acid together or one after another you can cause side effects such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach pain, then stop combining them. And if you can tolerate, then continue.

However, you should be mindful of the quality and quantity of iron and folic acid you consume.

Because too much or too little of either nutrient can cause health problems such as anemia, fatigue, weakness, birth defects, or nerve damage.

Whether you take them together or not, you should always choose high-quality supplements that are certified by a reputable organization.

Because some supplements may contain contaminants or additives that can affect their potency and safety.

You should also follow the dosage instructions on the label or as prescribed by your doctor.

You can store iron and folic acid supplements in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat.

Do not store them in a bathroom or near a sink. Keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not use them after the expiration date on the bottle.

Finally, remember, iron and folic acid are essential nutrients for your health and well-being.

They help your body make red blood cells, support your immune system, prevent birth defects, and maintain your energy levels. But they are not a substitute for a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods rich in these nutrients.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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