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Iron is an essential mineral for humans. This mineral is found in red blood cells, which carry both oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. Insufficient iron levels could lead to an iron deficiency or anemia, which causes fatigue and weakness. According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the number one nutritional disorder in the world. Up to 80% of the world's population may be iron deficient, and 30% may have anemia.

Also known as:  Carbonate de Fer Anhydre, Citrate de Fer, Elemental Iron, Fer, Fer Élémentaire, Ferric Iron, Ferric Orthophosphate, Ferrous Carbonate Anhydrous, Ferrous Citrate, Ferrous Fumarate, Ferrous Gluconate, Ferrous Iron, Ferrous Pyrophosphate, Ferrous Sulfate, Ferrum Phosphoricum, Fumarate de Fer, Gluconate de Fer, Glycérophosphate de Fer, Heme Iron Polypeptide, Hierro, Iron Glycerophosphate, Orthophosphate de Fer, Orthophosphate Ferrique, Numéro Atomique 26, Polypeptide de Fer de Heme, Pyrophosphate de Fer, Sulfate de Fer

Diseases and Conditions

Iron is likely effecitve in the treatment of chronic anemia and iron deficiency. Iron may also be effective in treating various other conditions.


Iron is safe for oral use as long as doses are less than 30 mg/kg. For pregnant women, the recommended daily allowance is 27 mg/day. For lactating women, the recomended daily allowance is 10 mg/day for ages 14 to 18 years, and 9 mg/day for ages 19 to 50.

Medication Interactions

Iron may interact with the following medications:

  • Cholestyramine
  • Colestipol
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Nizatidine (Axid)
  • Antacids
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Tetracyclines - Doxycycline (Vibramycin), Minocycline (Minocin), Tetracycline (Sumycin)
  • Quinolones - Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Norfloxacin (Noroxin), Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • ACE inhibitors - Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Vasotect), Lisinopril (Zestril or Prinivil)
  • Carbidopa and Levodopa (Sinemat)
  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid)
  • Birth Control Medications

Supplement and Food Interactions

There are no supplement or food interactions reported for iron. 


Iron is safe for oral use as long as doses are less than 30 mg/kg. Recommended daily allowances (RDA) for adults is:

  • 8 mg/day for men ages 19 and older, and women ages 51 and older.
  • For women 19 to 50 years, the RDA is 18 mg/day.
  • For pregnant women, the RDA is 27 mg/day.
  • For lactating women, the RDA is 10 mg/day for ages 14 to 18 years, and 9 mg/day for ages 19 to 50.


Iron can be found in foods such as:

  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Seafood 
  • Beans
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Dried fruit
  • Iron-fortified grains
  • Peas

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