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Supplements for anemia

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What is anemia?

Anemia is a condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells. The first function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and then bring carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs, where it is exhaled. The symptoms of anemia, such as extreme fatigue, reflect a lack of oxygen b...

What is anemia?

Anemia is a condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells. The first function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and then bring carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs, where it is exhaled. The symptoms of anemia, such as extreme fatigue, reflect a lack of oxygen being delivered to tissues and a buildup of carbon dioxide.

There are three main types of deficiencies that can cause anemia.

  • Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. The groups at highest risk for iron deficiency are infants under two years of age, teenage girls, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with a vegetarian diet. Studies have found iron deficiency in 30 to 50% of people in these groups, notably 35 to 38% of young, healthy women.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency is less common, and can be due to a dietary lack, especially if you have a vegan diet (a vegetarian diet that includes no milk products or eggs). Otherwise it can be linked to a defect in absorption (your small intestine lacking of a substance called ntrinsic factor which helps absorption)
  • Folic acid (vitamin B9) deficiency. The body does not store a large surplus of folic acid (unlike vitamin B12), so it can occur too.

Supplements for anemia

Below are the supplements to use for anemia:

  • Iron is the first supplement to try, as it is the most common deficiency that can cause anemia, especially in young women. To increase absorption of iron, you should also take vitamin C. Try this for 2-3 months to see if it reduces symptoms.
  • If not, it might be related to vitamins B9 or B12 deficiency. It is recommended to take them together, to avoid a high dose of vitamin B9 to mask symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Dosage

For iron deficiency anemia:

  • Iron: 30 mg, twice per day between meals (if this results in abdominal discomfort, take 30 mg with meals three times per day)
  • Vitamin C: 500-1000mg three times per day with meals

For vitamin B12 deficiency anemia:

  • Oral vitamin B12: 2,000 mcg per day for at least one month, followed by 1,000 mcg per day
  • Folic acid: 800 to 1,200 mcg three times per day

For folic acid deficiency anemia:

  • Folic acid: 800 to 1,200 mcg three times per day
  • Vitamin B12: 1,000 mcg per day
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