The Best Time to Take Iron & Fiber

Iron supplements can help prevent or treat iron deficiency anemia, a condition characterized by lack of healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin. Fiber supplements can help you meet your daily fiber needs, helping to prevent constipation and diverticulitis. You can take fiber and iron supplements at any time of day, but you should avoid taking them at the same time as certain other medications.

Fiber and Medications

Fiber supplements may hinder the body's absorption of some medications, including aspirin, warfarin and carbamazepine, according to MayoClinic.com. Avoid taking fiber supplements at the same time as these medications.

Iron and Medications

Iron may decrease the body's absorption of quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics. Take iron at least two hours before or two hours after taking quinolone antibiotics and two hours before or four hours after taking tetracycline antibiotics, recommends MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Iron can hinder the body's absorption of a variety of other medications, including bisphosphonates, levodopa, levothyroxine, methyldopa, mycophenolate mofetil and penicillamine. Take iron supplements at least two hours before or after these medications.

Iron and Food

For the best absorption, you should take iron supplements on an empty stomach if possible. The body absorbs as much as 50 percent less iron when you take supplements with food, according to MedlinePlus medical Encyclopedia. However, taking iron supplements with food can help reduce side effects such as nausea. If you do take iron with food, avoid certain foods that can hinder the body's ability to absorb the mineral: calcium, dairy products, soy protein, coffee and tea. Foods rich in vitamin C may actually improve the body's absorption of iron, however.

Side Effects

Iron supplements may cause side effects including nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. Fiber supplements may cause gas and bloating. Taking iron supplements in several small doses can help minimize side effects. Beginning with a small dose of fiber and gradually increasing the amount you take can help minimize gastrointestinal discomfort, according to MayoClinic.com.

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