Iron supplements are used to maintain healthy iron levels and prevent or treat anemia. These supplements come in two forms: chelated iron and ferrous sulfate (non-chelated iron).
Importance of Iron
Iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin, which is necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency, also known as anemia, can cause fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath.
What is Chelated Iron?
Chelated iron has undergone a process that binds it together with amino acids. This process makes the iron more similar to iron that occurs naturally in foods.
Why is Chelated Iron Used?
Some believe that the process of chelation makes the iron more easily absorbed through cell walls.
Is Chelated Iron Better than Regular Iron?
There is debate about whether or not chelated iron is better than regular iron supplements. No studies have shown that either type is better for humans or animals, but chelated iron has been proven to be more beneficial to plants. It is difficult to gauge the effectiveness in humans because there are many factors involved in iron absorption.
Who Needs Iron Supplements?
A person should take iron supplements only after his or her doctor has confirmed that there is an iron deficiency. Risks of taking too much iron include heart and liver damage.