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Best Iron Supplements For Anemia Without Constipation

Best Iron Supplements For Anemia Without Constipation

Iron is an essential mineral which is responsible for good blood circulation in the body and maintaining our energy levels to the optimum. Iron is indirectly responsible for proper oxygenation of all the body cells and maintain their smooth functioning. Anemia is often the result of inadequate iron stores in the body, which is characterized by fatigue, lethargy, poor reproductive health, poor work productivity, poor hair and nail health, etc.

Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common disorders among adolescents and adults alike. Mild anemia often doesn’t have any clinical symptoms whereas severe anemia have clear manifestations in the body. Iron supplementation is the most effective form of therapy to correct iron deficiency anemia. However, most of the easily available form of iron supplements cause several GI issues as per their form and dosages prescribed. Hence, it becomes necessary to choose iron supplements which have minimum or no adverse effects on the GI system.

The Iron & Gut Connection

Our gut is a host to various strains of good as well as bad bacteria. Increase in the bad bacteria in the gut causes several GI ailments. Hence, the bad bacteria need to be kept under check by the good bacteria to maintain good gut health. Iron is difficult to absorb in our gut based on its form present in the supplement taken.

If the iron from the supplement doesn’t get absorbed in the small intestine, they move to the colon and tend to enhance growth of bad bacteria. The bad, pathogenic bacteria thrive on the unabsorbable iron and cause dysbiosis, a condition characterized by bloating, gas and constipation. Iron also causes oxidative damage to the intestinal causing leaky gut syndrome by increasing the permeability of intestinal barrier to harmful bacteria.

Correcting Anemia and Maintaining Gut Health

The above occurrence can be avoided by changing the type, form and dosage of iron consumed through the supplement.  Fortunately, there are safer alternatives which save the gut from undergoing the above mentioned disorders through the course of iron therapy.

Firstly, modifying the type of iron i.e choosing ferrous form of iron instead of ferric (causes more constipation) since iron can be easily absorbed in the small intestine in the ferrous state.

Secondly, choosing elemental forms of iron such as amino acid chelate, ferrous diglycinate and ferrous bisglycinate over ferrous sulphate and ferrous fumarate, can provide more easily bioavailable iron than other conventional forms of iron in the market.

Thirdly, the dosage of the iron supplement administered is very important. Higher doses of even the most bioavailable form of iron can remain unabsorbed in the gut and cause constipation since the gut has specific capacity to absorb. Initiating with small doses then gradually increasing doses based on gut tolerance or splitting large doses into smaller ones to be taken through the day is what is recommended.

It is best to suggest the physician to prescribe gut sensitive iron supplements if we happen to experience adverse side effects of iron supplementation.

Iron Supplements with less adverse GI outcomes

Following are some of the gut-friendly iron supplements available in the market containing well studied forms of iron, which are more bioavailable at the same time not harsh on the GI system.

  • Solgar Gentle Iron 

It contains 25mgs of iron in the form of bisglycinate chelate. This is amino acid chelated form of iron supplement. In a study conducted on effectiveness of glycinate iron chelate, it was found that it increased serum ferritin concentrations as compared to ferrous sulphate and the increased concentrations sustained 6 months post supplementation [R]. Another study showed significant increase in serum hemoglobin and ferritin levels with ferrous asparto glycinate as compared to ferrous ascorbate in pregnant females [R].

Its very cost effective and suitable for vegetarians with no GI related side effects reported by the customers.

  • Garden of Life Iron Complex – Vitamin Code Raw Iron 

This is a holistic alternative for iron supplementation. It contains 22 mgs of carbonyl iron from whole foods along with folate, vitamin C and B12. It also has probiotic enzyme blend which is very effective for preventing dysbiosis, related to iron supplementation and gut related issues. It also contains a blend of raw organic fruits and vegetables which act as natural cofactors in aiding in better iron absorption. It’s the best vegan alternative, very cost effective and has garnered quite a lot of positive customer reviews.

  • Pure Micronutrients Iron Plus Supplement

It contains 25 mgs of iron as ferrous bisglycinate chelate. It also contains supplemental vitamin B12 and folate, vitamin B6 and C. It also helps to correct not only iron deficiency anemia but also pernicious anemia (caused by vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency). Its unsuitable for vegans and cost is marginally high but is worth the benefits. There is no after taste and helps to feel more rejuvenated and energized, reduces fatigue due to more bioavailable form of iron. Its quite a good respite for sensitive gut.

  • Vitron-C High Potency Iron Supplement

It contains 65 mgs of elemental iron in the form of carbonyl iron. It also contains 125 mgs of vitamin C, in order to enhance the iron absorption. It is very effective in correcting anemia even in pregnant women and has good bioavailability. Studies have shown that carbonyl iron powder is an effective iron therapy for anemia [R].

The supplement is cost effective and also a vegan alternative. Customers have reviewed significant growth in their hemoglobin and ferritin levels within 1-2 months of usage.

  • Natural Nutraceuticals Chelated Iron

It contains 29 mgs of iron along with amino acid chelation which is highly soluble, absorbable as well as more gentler than other forms of iron. It helps promotes normal red blood cell production and maintain healthy iron levels. In a study conducted on preschoolers with anemia, the group on amino acid chelated iron showed higher serum ferritin concentrations than the ferrous sulphate group [R].

It is very cost effective for its each unit of 90 capsules and is suitable for vegans. Customer reviews have noted that there is no aftertaste and can be taken on empty stomach without any gut issues.

  2. Victor R. Gordeuk, et al., Carbonyl Iron Therapy for Iron Deficiency Anemia. Blood Vol 67. No 3 (March), 1986: pp 745-752.
  3. Rojas . M, et al., (2013) Effectiveness of iron amino acid chelate versus ferrous sulfate as part of a food supplement in preschool children with iron deficiency. doi:
  4. Duque et al.: Effect of supplementation with ferrous sulfate or iron bis-glycinate chelate on ferritin concentration in Mexican schoolchildren: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal 2014 13:71.
  5. P. Kamdi & P. J. Palkar(2015) Efficacy and safety of ferrous asparto glycinate in the management of iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 35:1, 4-8, DOI: 10.3109/01443615.2014.930098 participates in Amazon services LLC Associates program, which is an affiliates advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to