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Iron is an essential nutrient that serves many different functions, from helping red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to hormone development.
While it can be obtained through a variety of food sources, such as meat and vegetables, not everyone may be able to get the recommended amounts through their diet alone. As such, supplementing with iron can fill those nutrient gaps, and help people reach the recommended levels.
In this article, we’re covering why iron is such an important mineral, and whether or not Mega Food’s Blood Builder is the supplement you actually need.
Why Is Iron Important?
Iron is an essential mineral the body needs for growth and development.
Our body uses iron to create hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to the muscles. Iron also plays a role in hormone development, so its importance is paramount.
In the short term, not getting enough iron does not cause immediate disease, and that is because iron is stored in the muscles, liver, spleen, and bone marrow.
However, when iron stores get low, iron deficiency anemia sets in, which means red blood smells become smaller from the lack of hemoglobin, and your body is unable to carry as much oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.
Symptoms associated with anemia include GI upset, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, and problems with concentration and memory. People with anemia are also more fragile against germs and infections, as well as withstand work and exercise, and are also unable to control their body temperature.
How Much Iron Should You Take?
Frankly, the amount of iron you need will depend on age, sex, and whether you consume mostly a plant-based diet, at least, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
The average daily recommended amount is the following:
|Life Stage:||Recommended Amount:|
|0 – 6 months||0.27 mg|
|7 – 12 months||11 mg|
|1 – 3 years||7 mg|
|4 – 8 years||10 mg|
|9 – 13 years||8 mg|
|Boys between 14 – 18 years||11 mg|
|Girls between 14 – 18 years||15 mg|
|Adult men between 19 – 50 years||8 mg|
|Adult women between 19 – 50 years||18 mg|
|Adults 51 years and older||8 mg|
|Pregnant teens||27 mg|
|Pregnant women||27 mg|
|Breastfeeding teens||10 mg|
|Breastfeeding women||9 mg|
However, if you’re a vegetarian and do not consume meat, poultry, or seafood, you might need to consume almost twice as much iron because the non-heme iron present in plant-based foods is not optimally absorbed.
I’ve been a vegan for almost 8 years, and I have never supplemented with a mineral supplement, but I know I’m particularly careful about the foods I ingest as I often try to have a varied plant-based diet.
If don’t follow a varied diet that contains all the different vitamins and minerals your body requires, then a supplement might help you out. However, I would still be careful about taking a mineral supplement like iron, because consuming more than what you need is also not risk-free.
Can Iron Be Harmful?
Yes, iron can be harmful if you take too much of it.
Also, if you’re a healthy person and decide to take high doses of iron (especially on an empty stomach), that could really upset your stomach and cause constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and fainting. High doses of iron can also inhibit zinc absorption.
Extremely high doses of iron (in the hundreds and thousands of milligrams) can cause organ failure, coma, convulsions, or even death.
Because of the aforementioned reasons, it’s highly important that you carefully monitor your consumption of iron, and attempt not to go over the daily upper limits.
Going above the daily upper limits should only happen with the consent of your doctor, as it’s what typically happens when trying to treat an iron deficiency.
Here are the daily upper limits:
|0 – 12 months||40 mg|
|1 – 13 years||40 mg|
|14 – 18 years||45 mg|
|19+ years||45 mg|
Keep these numbers in mind, although it is recommended that you consult with your doctor before taking an iron supplement because first, it’s important to establish whether you actually need it.
How Much Iron Does Blood Builder Contain?
Mega Food Blood Builder supplement contains 26 mg of fermented iron bis-glycinate, which is significantly above the recommended for adult men between the ages of 19-50 years old and slightly above what is recommended for women between the ages of 19-50 years old.
This leads me to believe that this supplement is a good option for two groups: women between the ages of 19-50 years old, and adults that follow a vegan/vegetarian diet, and need to consume almost double the iron because our/their bodies don’t optimally absorb iron.
However, I don’t think that someone who only requires 8 mg of iron a day would necessarily benefit from taking a supplement with 26 mg of iron unless there’s a condition inhibiting absorption or a dire deficiency.
Mega Food Seems To Be Ideal For Vegans
Not only does it contain significantly more iron than what’s found in other supplements, but it also contains other vitamins that are essential for vegans.
For example, it contains 15 mg of Vitamin C, or Ascorbic Acid, which is a water-soluble vitamin thought to increase the absorption of nonheme iron, the type of iron that is present in plant-based foods.
Additionally, it also has 30 mcg of Vitamin B12, which is equivalent to 1250% of the recommended daily value, and that is particularly beneficial for vegans.
Therefore, one can assume that this supplement is especially helpful for people following a vegan/vegetarian diet, although it wouldn’t necessarily be worthless for other individuals, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, as it also contains folic acid.
How Much Does Blood Builder Cost?
Mega Food Blood Builder is available in four different serving sizes: 30-day ($15.12), 60-day ($23.82), 90-day ($28.62), and 180-day ($45.87).
While it may seem more attractive to purchase the product with the lowest serving size because its price is cheaper— the cost per serving is actually higher.
For example, the 30-day supplement has a cost per serving of $0.50, whilst the 180-day supplement has a cost per serving of $0.25. That is what typically happens when you buy in bulk, which also means that the largest serving size is incredibly cheap, even though it costs $45.87.
Is Blood Builder A Good Iron Supplement?
In conclusion, this iron supplement by Mega Food seems to be a great option, not only because it’s quite affordable and it also offers vitamins such as Vitamin C, which increase non-heme iron absorption.
However, it does seem to be a supplement that is particularly attractive for vegans, not only because of Vitamin C but also because it contains generous amounts of Vitamin B12, an essential vitamin for vegans.
Therefore, yes, Blood Builder is a great iron supplement, but it’s even better for vegans/vegetarians.
Editor’s note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The content of our articles is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always best to speak with your doctor or a certified medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise routine, or trying a new supplement.