Best supplements: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and could help to treat an iron deficiciency
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Supplements have the ability to help with a wide range of health issues. Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30 percent. This helps the body’s natural defences fight inflammation. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can boost your blood antioxidant levels and could help treat an iron deficiency. How?
Iron is essential for brain cell development, physical growth, and hormone synthesis, and it supports muscle metabolism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although multiple factors may contribute to iron deficiency, the causes can be grouped into two main categories – either increased iron needs, and decreased iron intake or absorption.
Without enough iron, your body can’t produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen (haemoglobin).
As a result, iron deficiency anaemia may leave you tired and short of breath.
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In a study published in the Jama Network, the efficacy and safety of vitamin C for iron supplementation in adult patients with iron deficiency anaemia was further investigated.
The study noted: “It remains uncertain whether vitamin C routinely used with oral iron supplements is essential for patients with iron deficiency anaemia (IDA).
“Adult patients with newly diagnosed IDA were enrolled and participants were randomly assigned to the oral iron supplements plus vitamin C group or the oral iron supplements–only group.”
Among patients with IDA, oral iron supplements alone were equivalent to oral iron supplements plus vitamin C in improving haemoglobin recovery and iron, concluded the study.
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The early signs and symptoms of iron deficiency are often vague and may go unnoticed initially, said Pharmacy Times.
The health site continued: “As the body becomes more iron deficient, the symptoms of iron deficiency become more apparent.
“Some patients may present with pica—abnormal cravings to eat substances such as ice or dirt.
“Patients exhibiting signs of iron-deficiency anaemia should be encouraged to seek medical evaluation by their primary health care provider to prevent further complications.
“In addition, patients exhibiting signs of anaemia who are not pregnant, breast-feeding, or menstruating, or are not on a meat-restricted diet should always seek medical evaluation because anaemia may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition.”
Specific groups of people are more likely to be lacking iron, explains Dr Keri Gans.
She added: “Individuals who are prone to an iron deficiency include those who do not consume adequate amounts of iron in their diet, such as a vegan or vegetarian.
“Even though iron is found in a variety of foods such as dark leafy greens, red and white meats, eggs, seafood, and beans, many individuals who do not consume animal products find themselves at an increased risk.”
Studies have demonstrated that iron absorption can be increased as a consequence of consuming orange juice with a meal (up to the maximum daily recommended dose of vitamin C for the individual), said GP Online.
The site added: “Moreover, the promotion of iron absorption in the presence of vitamin C seems to be particularly pronounced in meals containing inhibitors of iron absorption.
“Vitamin C may also be involved in the transfer of iron into the blood, as well as mobilising it from iron stores.”
As with most supplements, it’s always best to speak with a healthcare professional before embarking on any new supplements.
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