Taking Iron with Vitamin B12: Is it SAFE or Not?

Short Answer: It is generally safe to take iron and B12 together or one after another.

Iron and B12 are both healthy supplements that can help prevent or treat anemia, a condition where the blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells.

Iron is a mineral that is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood.

B12 is a vitamin that is involved in the synthesis of DNA, the maintenance of nerve cells, and the formation of red blood cells.

According to Ayurveda, iron and B12 should be taken together with foods that enhance their absorption and digestion, such as citrus fruits, amla, ginger, black pepper, and honey.

Ayurveda also recommends avoiding foods that interfere with iron and B12 absorption, such as dairy products, tea, coffee, and antacids.

Ayurveda believes that iron and B12 can balance the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) and improve the quality of blood and energy in the body.

But according to science, iron and B12 may not always be beneficial to take together.

Some studies have shown that high doses of iron can reduce the absorption of B12 in the intestine.

This may be especially problematic for people who have pernicious anemia, a type of B12 deficiency caused by the lack of intrinsic factor, a protein that helps absorb B12 from food.

On the other hand, some studies have suggested that taking iron and B12 together may improve the response to treatment for iron deficiency anemia.

However, more research is needed to confirm the optimal dose and timing of iron and B12 supplementation.

As a nutritionist, my advice is to try first.

If after taking iron and B12 together you experience any side effects, such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach pain, then stop combining them. And if you can tolerate them, then continue.

However, you should be mindful of the quality and quantity of iron and B12 you consume.

Because too much or too little of either nutrient can cause health problems.

For example, excess iron can damage the liver and other organs, while excess B12 can cause acne or allergic reactions.

The recommended daily intake of iron for adults is 8 mg for men and 18 mg for women (or 27 mg for pregnant women), while the recommended daily intake of B12 for adults is 2.4 mcg (or 2.6 mcg for pregnant women.

Whether you take them together or not, you should always choose high-quality supplements that are certified by a third-party organization, such as USP or NSF.

Because some supplements may contain contaminants or inaccurate amounts of nutrients.

You should also consult your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any medications.

You can store your iron and B12 supplements in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Do not store them in the bathroom or near the stove.

You should also keep them out of reach of children and pets. Iron overdose can be fatal for children.

The shelf life of supplements may vary depending on the brand and formulation.

You should check the expiration date on the label and discard any expired supplements.

Finally, remember, supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet. Iron and B12 are best obtained from natural sources, such as meat, eggs, fish, poultry, dairy products, legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and fortified cereals.

Eating a variety of these foods can provide you with adequate amounts of iron and B12, as well as other nutrients that support your overall health.

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