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When does iron pills take effect and what foods affect their absorption?



Many people resort to taking iron pills to correct the deficiency in the level of iron in the body, as iron deficiency may cause many health problems that may be dangerous.


The problem is that some people may take iron pills but do not feel any difference, or if you will, they do not get the necessary amount, despite taking the recommended dose.

You will find a detailed and brief explanation of that through the one shown below, in addition to the answer to the question that most people may have about the time it takes for the body to absorb iron pills and some important things related to that.

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Why do not we get the necessary amount of iron despite our intake of iron pills?

It should be noted that you take iron pills at specific intervals, before or after food, in addition to the type of food eaten. All of these things are key factors in how well the body absorbs iron and how much you drink. To clarify to you the following:

There are some foods that, if eaten while taking iron pills or two hours later, may hinder the body from absorbing iron, and the most important of them are:

Phytate acid

Phytate acid may reduce the absorption of iron in the body, the most important of which are:

  • soybean.
  • Nuts.
  • Whole grains.
  • Legumes.

Foods that contain polyphenols

Polyphenols: These are plant compounds that contain many health benefits.

Eating foods that contain polyphenols causes an obstacle for the body to absorb iron, and the most famous of which is caffeine, such as tea and coffee.

the salt

Eating salt drastically reduces iron absorption in the body.

You should abstain from consuming the above when taking iron pills for at least two hours.

Are there foods that help absorb iron effectively?

Of course, eating certain foods may help the body absorb iron effectively, including:

Eat animal protein

Eating animal proteins that are found in fish, poultry and meat, helps the body to enhance red blood cells, in addition to containing some vitamins that work to enhance mineral absorption in general.

citrus fruits

Eating citrus fruits stimulates the body to absorb iron better, the reason being because they contain vitamin C or C (in English: Vitamin C), or what is called ascorbic acid, among the most famous:

  • Orange.
  • the strawberry.
  • green pepper.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A works to enhance the production of hemoglobin in the blood, the reason being because it contains beta-carotene , which causes an increase in the amount of iron in the body, and this is what helps to better absorb iron pills, the most famous of which are:

  • Spinach.
  • Option.
  • carrots.
  • sweet potato.

When does the body start absorbing iron?

Often the body begins absorbing iron at least two hours after taking an iron pill.

For effective absorption of iron pills, it is recommended to take them on an empty stomach.

If consuming iron pills on an empty stomach causes some intestinal disturbances, then it is recommended to take them with food, or replace iron pills with drink. Make sure to eat foods that help absorb iron.

Do not lie down after taking iron pills, for at least half an hour.

When does the effect of iron pills begin?

Iron often begins to work after taking it regularly for a period of 3 to 5 weeks or a little more, depending on the deficiency and the reason for the deficiency.

But during the above-mentioned period, you should show an improvement, even if only a slight one, as you may continue to take iron pills until the deficiency is compensated, depending on the cause and the amount of the deficiency, and this is what the specialist doctor determines.

last word

Be sure to take iron pills regularly and periodically, and you should also refrain from foods that hinder the body from absorbing iron properly.

Eating foods that help absorb iron is very important, so be sure to eat them while you are taking your iron pills.

The effect of iron should start after two months as a maximum, through improvement of symptoms, even in small proportions, so if you took iron pills and did not have any improvement during the mentioned period, then it is necessary to see a specialist doctor to provide proper medical advice.