What is iron for?
Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, which allows red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Without iron, your body cannot make enough red blood cells, causing your body’s tissues to receive less oxygen than they need. Iron is also an essential nutrient for women of reproductive age.
Who should take iron?
If you have low iron levels or iron deficiency anemia, you should consider iron supplementation while working with your doctor. Teenagers and women with heavy menstrual cycles are at increased risk for low iron levels, as are pregnant women.
Also, if you don’t eat a balanced diet rich in iron-containing foods or don’t take medications that deplete you, you may need a supplement that contains iron. Consulting with a doctor about your blood iron levels is an important first step in understanding whether you need to supplement.