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

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

Iron and vitamin C both are healthy supplements.

Iron contains the mineral that is essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen in the body.

Vitamin C has the vitamin that is important for immune function, collagen synthesis, and iron absorption.

According to Ayurveda, iron and vitamin C can be taken together to overcome iron deficiency and anemia.

Ayurveda believes that vitamin C helps to increase the absorption of iron from plant sources, which are considered non-heme iron.

Ayurveda also recommends consuming foods rich in iron and vitamin C, such as beetroots, carrots, moringa leaves, dates, figs, raisins, and amla.

But according to science, iron and vitamin C may not need to be taken together for people with iron deficiency anemia (IDA).

Science suggests that there is not enough evidence to support the need for vitamin C supplements for patients with IDA taking iron tablets.

Science also shows that vitamin C only enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, not heme iron, which is found in animal foods.

As a nutritionist, my advice is to try first.

If after taking iron and vitamin C together can cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, 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 vitamin C you consume.

Because too much iron can cause hemochromatosis, a condition where excess iron builds up in the body and damages the organs.

And too much vitamin C can cause kidney stones, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.

Whether you take them together or not, you should always choose supplements that are certified by a reputable organization, such as NSF International or USP.

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

You should also consult your doctor before taking any supplements to avoid interactions with medications or health conditions.

You can store iron and vitamin C supplements in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture.

Do not store them in the bathroom or near heat sources.

You should also keep them out of reach of children and pets. Iron supplements can be toxic if ingested by children.

Finally, remember, supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet.

You should also eat foods that are rich in iron and vitamin C, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fortified cereals, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.

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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