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How to choose your iron food supplement?

Iron can be provided by supplementation, but how to choose the right iron supplement?
Choosing an iron food supplement

Around a third of women of childbearing age have a blood iron deficiency, including 5% with anemia (source: in France - Assurance Maladie -

Anemia very often results from a lasting iron deficiency and treatment often requires taking a daily food supplement for several months .
Unfortunately, the Iron cure is often associated with side effects such as stomach aches, nausea or constipation…

In this article, we have compiled some key information to know to help you choose your Iron food supplement and follow your treatment, without stress, with tangible results and without discomfort.

3 essential information to know about iron

  1. Iron is an essential trace element :
    It is a substance present in small quantities within the body, but essential for its proper functioning.
    It is the iron in red blood cells that transports blood oxygen and therefore, there is a direct relationship between a lack of iron and the effects of under-oxygenation: pallor, fatigue, headaches, etc.
  2. Iron is not synthesized by the body :
    It must be provided in targeted quantities to compensate for losses which vary enormously depending on the categories of people (particularly sex and age). The main sources of losses are linked to blood loss, hence the increased needs of menstruating women (and pregnant women for the needs of the fetus).
  3. Excesses of iron are as harmful as deficiencies .
    Excess iron is as harmful as iron deficiency because it increases free radicals and oxidation.

Who is affected by iron supplementation?

Iron is well recycled in the body. This explains why daily requirements are low.
However, these needs are increased for different reasons: blood loss; increased needs (athletes, growing young people); low assimilations (seniors or plant-based diets).
The following people are more affected:

  • Ruled women
  • Pregnant women
  • Athletes of long efforts in the first place
  • young people growing
  • The elderly

Particular attention should be paid to people whose diet is mainly composed of plants. Indeed, even with foods with a high iron content which allow sufficient theoretical intakes, the low assimilation of non- heme iron must be taken into account.
This assimilation is in a range of only 2 to 10% of the iron ingested. However, it is possible to increase this percentage by combining absorption boosters such as Vitamin C.

It is in these situations that the choice of a food supplement rich in Iron should be considered, even if some precautions should be observed.

What precautions for an ideal Iron Supplement?

Avoid long-term self-medication

In case of frequent and repeated fatigue, headaches, paleness, fatigue during exercise, consider consulting your doctor to obtain a blood iron test.

Excess iron is as harmful as iron deficiency because it increases free radicals and oxidation.
However, due to the difference between ingested and assimilated iron ( see our article on the role of iron ), there is no risk of excess iron with a supplement of 15 mg per day corresponding to the Recommended Nutritional Intakes (and at the dosage of the Fer Argalys Essentiels supplement for one capsule).

For added precaution, we recommend consulting your health practitioner for any long-term treatment (more than 2 months).

Avoid anything that reduces iron absorption

The body has difficulty absorbing iron .
On average, 20% of heme iron and 2 to 10% of non-heme iron are actually absorbed. In addition, this absorption is very dependent on other nutrients present at the same time in the stomach and the upper part of the intestine.
This is particularly the case for tannins in tea and coffee which reduce absorption by around 30 to 40%, or for chocolate.
We recommend spacing out these drinks by 1 hour between taking your Iron food supplement .

how to choose your argalys iron food supplement

What criteria for choosing an Iron food supplement?

Nutrients that facilitate iron assimilation

The actual absorption of non-heme iron (of plant origin, denoted Fe 3+ or Ferric Iron) is lower than that of heme iron (Fe2+ or Ferrous Iron) but can be significantly increased with the presence of 'enhancing' elements. :

  • Vitamin C, in moderate quantities, is the most powerful known facilitator of non-heme iron absorption (work by Cook and Monsen, 1977).
  • B group vitamins including folic acid (B9) are essential for iron metabolism.
  • It seems that plant fibers are a factor in improving absorption, undoubtedly to the extent that they improve intestinal transit (without established certainty due to lack of repeated studies – work by Cook 1981).

Iron bisglycinate also called “Soft iron”

Among the many types of iron salts present in food supplements, iron bisglycinate is a form well suited to supplementation:

The association with an amino acid (glycine) allows iron to resist stomach acids and pass more easily through the intestinal barrier. It is a good compromise between contribution and comfort when taking.

However, most supplements are in the form of Iron Oxide or Sulphate. Although their iron content is high, they are quite disruptive for the digestive system and can cause nausea or diarrhea.

Food supplements that reduce nausea reactions

Iron consumption is often associated with side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, etc.

These effects are attenuated and almost zero with food supplements which have the following characteristics:

  • Iron Bisglycinate reduces the risk of intestinal disorders thanks to its low acidity
  • A daily dosage equivalent to the RDA (recommended daily intake) or 15 mg of iron
  • in gastro-resistant capsule to the acidity of the stomach to allow release of iron in the upper part of the intestine and avoid the risk of nausea, common if the capsule opens in the stomach.

These features guarantee your comfort when taking.

The iron food supplement, Argalys Essentiels: a solution suitable for everyone

The Iron Argalys Essentiels food supplement is designed with all the positive properties mentioned above.
We have selected an iron in the form of Bisglycinate, associated with assimilation boosters: natural vitamin C, organic carrot extract source of provitamin A and fiber and vitamin B9.
Each capsule contains 14 mg of iron which helps correct iron deficiency, without risk of excess.
And to avoid the risk of nausea, the capsules are gastro-protective. Argalys FER is certified vegan. It is a safe and effective supplement for everyone.

The Argalys team

Bibliography and useful links:

  • Cockell KA et al. Application of the Dietary Reference Intakes in developing a recommendation for pregnancy iron supplementations in Canada. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 90:1023-8
  • Effects of folic acid supplementation during different pregnancy periods and relationship with the other primary prevention measures to neural tube defects. Gong R, Wang ZP, Wang M, Gao LJ, Zhao ZT. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016 Dec;29(23):3894-901. doi:10.3109/14767058.2016.1152241. Epub 2016

Our Essentials rich in Iron Bisglycinate:

iron image Blog

Iron + Vitamin C, B9 and Carrot
€18.50 for 2 months of treatment!