How Much Iron Do I Need To Raise My Hemoglobin or Ferritin?!
Your doctor has recommended that you take an iron supplement…but now what?
Iron supplementation can feel confusing, I’ve been there too…
Searching online will reveal the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for iron, but those values are the recommended daily allowance for people with healthy iron levels to simply maintain their iron status.
But those of us struggling with [bloodwork confirmed] iron deficiency certainly need more than the minimum daily amount for survival…we need to combat the deficiency and RAISE our iron levels!
How Much iron should i take?
That depends on what kind of iron you’re taking. There are two kinds of iron supplements: heme & non-heme.
Heme iron naturally has a higher absorption rate than non-heme iron, so the amounts required for each kind are different.
This guideline follows the American Society of Hematology recommendations for iron supplementation, and utilizes your individual weight to determine daily iron intake.
Don’t worry…it sounds complicated, but we’ll walk through figuring out how much you might need for both kinds of iron.
(Remember, this is not medical advice. It’s important to work with your doctor to order the right blood tests to identify iron deficiency & ensure that iron supplementation is necessary. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any new supplement routine. )
Heme Iron Supplementation
Heme iron supplements (like Iron Repair) have a naturally high absorption rate, are gentle on the gut, and can be taken with or without food.
The approximate range for heme iron intake is 1-2x your weight in Kg per day.
What does that even mean?!
Watch this quick video, and I’ll walk through figuring this out with you.👇🏻
Now that we’ve figured out your daily range for heme iron, let’s figure out how much Iron Repair you’d need.
For example: If I weigh 150 lbs (68 kg) my approximate daily range is 68-137 mg heme per day.
Each Iron Repair capsule contains 20 mg of heme iron, so that means I’d need approximately 3-7 capsules per day.
Non Heme Iron supplementation
Non-heme iron has a lower absorption rate, so it requires larger doses to make up for reduced absorption.
The approximate range for non-heme iron intake is 2-5x your weight in Kg per day.
Here’s a video walking through calculating a non-heme daily range.👇🏻
Now that you’ve figured out your approximate daily range for non-heme iron, you’ll need to figure out how many of your non-heme supplements to take.
The amount of iron in the various non-heme supplements varies widely, so it’s important to make sure you know how much elemental non-heme iron is in each tablet.
In adults, non-heme iron doses shouldn’t exceed 150 mg at a time to ensure that your body can safely handle the iron it’s absorbing.
Can I take both Heme & Non-Heme supplements?
Heme & non-heme iron are very different. In fact, they have completely separate pathways of absorption in the gut.
If you are able to tolerate non-heme iron, you can certainly use both kinds of supplements to raise your iron levels. (Non-heme irons are often tough on the digestive system, so if that’s the case it’s best to stick with heme iron)
Here I share how I might incorporate both kinds of iron into my day. 👇🏻
Once you have calculated your approximate daily range for both kinds of iron, you can decide how to incorporate both into your day.
There is no hard rule of thumb for this, since our bodies are all so different. For myself, I might choose to take the low end of both heme & non-heme ranges.
For example: If I weigh 150 lbs (68 kg) my low end for heme is 68 mg and 136 for non-heme.
Remember, you can work with your doctor to ensure that your body is responding safely and your iron levels are improving. Ask your doctor to run an iron panel, which includes TSAT (transferrin saturation %) and TIBC an hour or two after taking your supplements. (This post has a list of important tests to ask for)
I hope this is helpful!
I’d love to invite you to join our Tribe of Iron Warriors on Facebook. Just click here to Join the Tribe!
Disclaimer: This content is strictly the opinion of Krystal Moore or Three Arrows Nutra, LLC and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Krystal Moore, Three Arrows Nutra, LLC nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.