Iron Supplement Benefits and Dosage
Iron has been shown to protect against psychiatric disorders—find out why we use it in our Smart Supplement.
Function of iron
A mineral that allows blood to transport oxygen - Component of haemoglobin, myoglobin, and many enzymes.
The Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) recommends around 13.9mg of iron a day. Heights Smart Supplement contains 5mg (equal to 8oz steak or 1 cup of white beans), 36% of the NRV. This is intentional as most people do get iron from their diet as well. It also allows people with low iron levels to supplement iron next to taking Heights.
Iron deficiency, especially during childhood, can lead to reduced cognitive function. It could also protect against psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, autism, and ADHD.
Iron deficiency can cause all these symptoms because of its intrinsic relationship with the oxygen in our blood. When not enough oxygenated blood reaches the brain, it can cause blood vessels in the brain to swell, which in turn causes these symptoms.
Is iron good for the brain?
A lack of iron can cause tiredness, headaches and dizziness, all of which can affect work capacity, intellectual performance and behaviour. Clinical trials have also shown that supplementing iron over four months improved attention, short- and long-term memory and performance in cognitive tasks.
Iron is essential for energy levels and exercise performance.
It is harder to source iron with less meat in the diet and women are at risk of deficiency due to menstruation.
Iron absorption (especially from vegan sources) is enhanced by vitamin C so including fruit and vegetables with your first meal after your supplement will optimise absorption.
Here’s a handful of relevant scientific studies on iron.
Kretchmer, N., Beard, J. L., & Carlson, S. (1996). The role of nutrition in the development of normal cognition. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 63(6), 997S-1001S.
Stoltzfus, R. J., Chway, H. M., Montresor, A., Tielsch, J. M., Jape, J. K., Albonico, M., & Savioli, L. (2004). Low dose daily iron supplementation improves iron status and appetite but not anemia, whereas quarterly anthelminthic treatment improves growth, appetite and anemia in Zanzibari preschool children. The Journal of nutrition, 134(2), 348-356.
Chen, M. H., Su, T. P., Chen, Y. S., Hsu, J. W., Huang, K. L., Chang, W. H., ... & Bai, Y. M. (2013). Association between psychiatric disorders and iron deficiency anemia among children and adolescents: a nationwide population-based study. BMC psychiatry, 13(1), 161.
Black, M. M. (2003). Micronutrient deficiencies and cognitive functioning. The Journal of nutrition, 133(11), 3927S-3931S.
Ortega, R. M., González-Fernández, M., Paz, L., Andrés, P., Jiménez, L. M., Jiménez, M. J., ... & Gaspar, M. J. (1993). Influence of iron status on attention and intellectual performance of a population of Spanish adolescents. Archivos latinoamericanos de nutricion, 43(1), 6-11.