Multivitamins & Iron Tablets

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Woman holding a pill and a glass of water (Image: fizkes/iStock/Getty Images)

Taking a daily multivitamin can assist in keeping every system in the body healthy. The iron contained in multivitamins provides many health benefits and helps to ward off iron-deficiency anemia. Multivitamins that don’t contain iron can be taken along with iron supplements.

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are special multivitamins given to women during pregnancy. Certain vitamins and minerals must be increased to support both the mother and baby during this time. Prenatal vitamins contain a higher intake of iron compared to other multivitamins and may cause stomach upset due to this increase. Iron may cause constipation in some women, which may result in stomach pain and difficulty passing stool.

Complete Multivitamins

Complete multivitamins contain a mixture of water-soluble vitamins C and B-complex; fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K along with several minerals needed for good health. Multivitamins contain 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron. These vitamins also contain 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, which is used to help absorb iron into the blood. Complete multivitamins are made to be used once per day and are sold in several forms. If you're suffering from iron deficiency anemia, your doctor may recommend you take an iron supplement along with a complete multivitamin.

Iron Supplements

Iron is needed in the body to help produce hemoglobin, which is needed to transport oxygen throughout the body. While you may get enough iron in your diet, heavy blood loss or malabsorption may require you to take iron supplements to maintain a healthy hemoglobin level. Iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach to increase absorption or taken with a glass of vitamin C fortified juice or orange juice. According to the Drugs.com website, the dosage amount for iron supplements is 10 mg per day for men and 10 to 15 mg per day for women. This a dose increases to 30 mg per day during pregnancy.

Safety

Do not take an iron supplement without consulting your physician first. If you are receiving iron injections, do not take iron supplements orally or it may result in iron poisoning. You may experience abdominal pain or cramping while taking oral iron supplements. If you experience throat pain or you pass stool that contains blood, contact your physician immediately.

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