What is the best time of day to take iron?

This is an automatically translated article.

The article is professionally consulted by Master, Doctor Nguyen Thi My - Department of Medical Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec International General Hospital Da Nang.
Iron is a component of hemoglobin of red blood cells, supporting the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in respiration. Iron deficiency will cause great harm to health, especially, this is the cause of extremely dangerous anemia.

1. The process of absorbing iron into the body

Iron is an essential trace element and plays a particularly important role in health. According to the documents of the Central Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, iron absorption begins in the stomach but mainly takes place in the duodenal bulb and to a lesser extent in the first small intestine. To be absorbed, iron will have to change from the ferric form (Fe3+) to the ferrous form (Fe2+). Pepsin separates iron from organic compounds and converts it to a form bound to amino acids or sugars.
In the case of iron deficiency, a greater amount of iron is absorbed through the brush border into the intestinal mucosal cells and into the bloodstream to the portal vein. Conversely, in the case of iron overload in the body, the amount of iron absorbed into the intestinal mucosal cells will decrease.
About 2/3 of the iron in the body is contained in hemoglobin (≈ 2500mg), about 30% of iron is stored in ferritin and hemosiderin in the endothelial reticular system in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, etc. The major stores are in ferritin, which is a multi-molecular protein, best absorbed on an empty stomach because food reduces absorption of this important micronutrient.

2. The most appropriate time to take iron during the day

Uống sắt đúng cách
Uống sắt trước hay sau bữa ăn sáng khoảng 30 phút là tốt nhất
When is the best time to take iron? According to a specialist, you should take iron early in the morning to have a good effect, because at this time the body has just undergone a long sleep and this period is when the calcium and iron levels in the body are at a low level. best. Therefore, every day taking iron in the morning is what experts recommend. Iron is a very important mineral in the process of making blood for the body, not only for adults but also for children who are in the process of development, it is indispensable for this substance.
Iron is best absorbed when you are hungry because food will reduce the absorption of this important micronutrient. It is best to take iron before or after breakfast about 30 minutes.

3. The role of iron

Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, which is an important component in the blood and delivers oxygen to vital organs in our body. Iron is especially important for pregnant women and young children.
For pregnant women:
During pregnancy, the mother's body has to go through many changes both psychologically and physiologically. Therefore, we often see the most obvious change in the anemia of pregnant women.
Therefore, the diet for pregnant women also changes to supplement iron during pregnancy and help regenerate blood effectively. However, during this time, the mother needs to provide many nutrients for the fetus to absorb well, so it is not possible to ensure adequate minerals.
Therefore, the mother needs to supplement from functional foods and take iron every day. Taking iron also supports the synthesis of minerals to help the body prevent anemia-causing agents, helping the fetus to absorb more optimally. In addition, the fetus in the process of forming organs, especially the brain, will need to be fully provided with essential minerals, especially iron supplements.
Therefore, at this time, pregnant women need to pay attention to taking iron every day to bring good health to themselves and provide adequate for the comprehensive development of the fetus.
For children:
Not only the new fetus needs to be provided with adequate iron, but young children also need adequate mineral supplements. Taking iron every day not only helps children supplement iron due to anemia, but also supports and absorbs calcium needed for comprehensive bone development.
For children to have a comprehensive health, iron supplementation for babies every day is very necessary that parents need to pay attention to.

3. Some notes when taking iron pills

Calcium should not be taken with iron because if the dose of calcium is at 300mg, it can interfere with the absorption of iron. This is a note for you when taking iron, balance the dose and time to avoid causing the phenomenon of minerals that interfere with mutual absorption.
Uống sắt đúng cách
Không nên uống canxi cùng với sắt
Vitamin C has the effect of reducing Fe3+ to Fe2+ so that iron is easily absorbed, so you should drink orange juice for iron to be absorbed into the body. Animal protein also contains substances that help support optimal iron absorption, so fish and meat should be added to daily meals. However, care should be taken to avoid stimulant drinks such as tea, coffee, and carbonated soft drinks because they interfere with the absorption of iron. Iron should not be combined with tetracycline and quinolone antibiotics, antacids, thyroid hormone. Because iron is better absorbed if taken on an empty stomach and substances in food (which are high in calcium) will affect iron absorption, so the best time to take iron tablets is usually 1 hour before eating. or 2 hours after eating. Take the pill with at least half a glass of water and do not chew the tablet while taking it (for the tablet form). Children under 12 years old or the elderly do not take tablets but use drops or syrup (easy to swallow). It is necessary to follow the instructions on the dosage of the number of drops or the measuring spoon suitable for each age, when taking the form of syrup, the teeth will be black (remedied by sucking through a straw, mixed with water and then sucked). You can add iron-rich foods such as: Oysters, beef, fish and chicken, ... and eat these foods with foods and fruits rich in vitamin C to help absorb iron better. . Avoid drinking tea and coffee near meals (should be drunk at least 1 hour before meals) because these drinks contain caffeine, tannins, which will significantly reduce the body's ability to absorb iron.
Master. American doctor has more than 6 years of experience as an internal medicine doctor at Hue Central Hospital, Hue University Hospital of Medicine and Pharmacy; Tam Tri Da Nang Hospital; Danang Hospital. Currently, he is a General Internal Medicine Doctor at Vinmec Da Nang International General Hospital.

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