Iron is an essential mineral for the body. Some people may be deficient in iron because they’re not able to get enough from their diet. So these people would benefit from supplementing their iron. Iron supplements can come in tablet and liquid form, but as these are absorbed through the gut they may cause unwanted side effects. Better You Iron oral spray is absorbed through the mouth and therefore avoids digestive discomfort. It comes in a handy spray bottle and is flavoured with natural pomegranate. Four sprays provide 10mg of iron. Here, we cover why iron is important, the best dietary sources, who may need a supplement and review the Better You Iron Oral Spray.
Why Is Iron Important?
Iron is an essential part of haemoglobin which is the substance in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. If your iron stores are too low, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This will results in a range of physical symptoms and in more severe cases can lead to iron deficiency anaemia. Symptoms of low iron include: tiredness, lack of energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and looking pale. For more medical information about iron deficiency, see the NHS iron deficiency anaemia page.
What are the best Dietary Sources of Iron?
Iron is available in both plant and animal sources. The best meat sources are red meat such as beef and pork although chicken and veal also contain iron. Organ meat such as liver are also a good source of iron. Fish including haddock, halibut, perch, tuna and salmon; and shellfish also contain iron. Vegetables especially leafy greens (such as kale and spinach), beans and lentils all contain iron. Certain foods do not naturally contain much iron but have iron added (termed ‘fortified’) such as some breads and cereals.
Iron comes in two forms heme (from animal sources) and non-heme (plant sources). Heme iron is more easily absorbed of the two. Other factors which affect absorption include digestive problems, and what you drink with your iron rich meal. Tea and coffee reduce iron absorption, whereas a drink high in vitamin C (e.g. orange or grapefruit juice) supports iron absorption.
Everyone needs iron to be healthy, but certain groups are more likely to have a deficiency and need supplements. These groups are people with difficulties absorbing iron from their diet, women who are pregnant or have heavy periods, athletes, and those who are vegetarians or vegans.
In the case of absorption difficulty, this can include people who have undiagnosed or recently diagnosed coeliac disease as the absorptive surfaces of their stomach are damaged. For vegans and vegetarians, the main source of iron is leafy greens, beans and lentils. Plant sources, however; contain non-heme iron which is harder to absorb.
I’ve had iron deficiency for many years. I’ve tried every kind of tablet and liquid supplement my doctor could find (there are a lot!). Tablets cause me gut problems and neither tablets nor liquids seem to make much difference in blood tests. I’ve even had iron intravenously in order to ensure I have a large amount in my body to keep me going. This is why I was so pleased when I saw an oral spray! But can you really absorb what you need just through your cheeks? A growing body of research indicates you can. Several studies are available, presented on Better You’s evidence page. It is important to note, these studies have focused on vitamin D oral spray, so iron may be different.
The spray itself comes in a handy bottle. A daily dose of four sprays provides 10mg of iron. It’s super quick and easy to take. The taste is pleasant it contains pomegranate which is the dominant flavour you can taste. Each 25ml bottle contains 32 daily doses so it lasts just over a month. It doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge, so that also adds to the convenience.
At rosegold reports we champion brands who are kind to the environment. Better You has great environmental credentials. The packaging of the bottle uses plant based plastics (>93%). Both the bottle and the carton it comes in can be recycled. It’s also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
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