What is the function of iron? Is it fine to take iron and vitamin c at the same time

01.08.23 253

An adequate iron supply is essential for health and the body. But do you know the benefits of iron? And have you ever thought about taking iron and vitamin C at the same time? The following article will answer these questions on behalf of Solife.blog.

1. Function of Iron and Vitamin C

Iron is one of the elements in nature that plays an important role in electron exchange. In addition, iron also works to promote the transport of oxygen in the blood to the cells in the body. Some important roles of iron can be mentioned as:

  • The amount of iron in the body helps red blood cells stay healthy, supports the formation and development of muscles.
  • Iron promotes human cognition by improving the ability to deliver oxygen to the brain and vital organs in the body.
  • Transport oxygen and CO2 during respiration.
  • Iron participates in the composition of a number of redox enzymes such as catalase, peroxidase and cytochromes (which are important biological catalysts in the body).
  • Iron is also a component of several important enzymes.
  • Iron plays an important role in brain development in children.

Uses of Iron and Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins for the body. Because it plays an important role in helping the body produce collagen, improve resistance and support skin improvement. Specifically, some of the basic uses of vitamin C include:

  • Involved in the metabolism of energy and the use of fat in the body.
  • Helps increase iron absorption in the body.
  • Increase concentration, reduce stress and improve body resistance.
  • In addition, combining vitamin C with vitamin A and some other vitamins can neutralize free radicals, protect cell membranes, thereby limiting cell oxidation in the body.

In addition to the above uses of Vitamin C, you can learn more about other functions in the article: What does vitamin C do? How to use & notes to know

Combine vitamin c with other functional foods

2. What should be noted with the doctor before use

Iron and vitamin C are two popular and relatively easy-to-use functional foods. However, you need to note with your doctor some of the following issues to avoid unwanted effects:

  • Should iron and vitamin C be taken at the same time? – This question will help you know if taking a decoction and vitamin C at the same time is harmful to the body, if not, consult your doctor about how to use it most effectively.
  • Is the dosage appropriate for the condition of the body? – This question will help you get the right dose for your body without worrying about some harmful side effects.
  • Effective use time? – This question will help you know the right time to use it, and at the same time avoid inappropriate times such as: drinking at night, drinking on an empty stomach,…. You better get it detailed answer from the doctor about when to take it
  • Instructions on how to use it to get the best results. – This question will answer for those who do not know how to use it effectively, this is very important in the process of supplementing nutrients for the body, perhaps you should consult a doctor. for the best answer.
  • Side effects and causes. – This question will help you understand the harmful side effects of the body as well as the causes, so you can prevent it in time before it happens to your body.

What should be noted with the doctor before use?

3. What are some things you need to know or do while taking Iron and Vitamin C?

Iron and vitamin C are very good for the body. However, do not take iron and vitamin C at the same time when the body is hungry. This increases acid levels in the stomach, negatively affecting gastrointestinal health. Do not take iron and vitamin C in the evening because it will easily cause trouble sleeping, affecting health and spirit.

Additionally, you should not take iron and calcium at the same time. Specifically, iron and calcium are two substances that interact quite strongly with each other. If you take iron and calcium at the same time, it will reduce the ability to absorb both substances, even nutrients will be pushed out that the body cannot absorb.

Notes to know when using vitamin c and iron

Learn more notes when using zinc with vitamin C in the article: Should I take zinc and vitamin c at the same time?

4. Can we take iron and vitamin C tablets at the same time?

With the benefits of vitamin C, vitamin C supplements play a very important role in helping the body absorb iron.

Iron exists in the human body in the form of 2+ ions, which when combined with vitamin C will form an iron 3+ complex. At this time, the body will absorb and synthesize into hemoglobin, myoglobin. Of which two-thirds of the iron is made into hemoglobin, which will help transport O2 and CO2 in the body, the remaining one-third is used in cases of severe iron deficiency.

There are two forms of iron in food: heme (found in animal meat) and non-heme (found in plants). Normally, our body can only absorb about 15 to 35% heme iron and 2 to 20% non-heme iron. However, when combined with vitamin C, it forms an iron compound that makes it easier to absorb. As a result, the iron contained in food will be absorbed more efficiently by the body

Therefore, the common cause of iron deficiency anemia is the lack of vitamin C in the body. Especially pregnant women have twice the iron requirement compared to normal people.

Question: Can I take iron and vitamin c at the same time? The answer is yes! Because doctors often recommend that when taking iron, it should be taken with vitamin C to optimize the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Can I take vitamin C and iron at the same time?

5. How to properly use vitamin C and iron

To use vitamin C properly,you need to take it in the right dose for a certain age. Specifically, nutritionists have set the daily limit of vitamin C as follows:

  • Children 1-3 years old is 400mg
  • Children 4 – 8 years old is 650mg
  • Children 9-13 years old is 1,200mg
  • Teenagers 14-18 years old is 1,800mg
  • Adults, pregnant and lactating women, the maximum limit is 2000mg

In addition, there will be exceptions such as people with cancer, diabetes, lung disease, smoking or exercising a lot, which can change the dosage limit. However, these cases must consult a doctor and be guided.

How to use vitamin c and iron properly

For the proper use of iron, you should use iron supplements in between your daily meals or take iron tablets. However, in the case of prolonged iron deficiency, the first stage should be supplemented with iron tablets. After providing enough iron, switch to maintenance with an iron-rich diet.

To have an iron-rich diet, you can eat foods rich in iron minerals such as cashews, almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, tofu, eggs, shrimp, crab In addition, the use of vitamin C in combination with eating these foods will help the body absorb iron more easily and effectively.

6. Side effects when using

Researchers at Imperial College London have found and concluded that taking a lot of iron supplements will cause damage to cells in blood vessels.

Several other studies have also suggested that taking too much iron, especially the wrong kind of iron, can be dangerous and lead to a variety of health problems, from heart disease to gout. Iron is absorbed in the intestines and stored in the cells, so when you eat too much iron, the stomach lining will be damaged because the intestines do not absorb all the iron.

Therefore, an excess of iron in the body for a long time is harmful to the cells, if not treated early, it can damage the liver and heart and increase the risk of cancer. Some common side effects of iron overload include:

  • Diarrhea, Constipation
  • Dark green or black stools
  • Anorexia
  • Persistent nausea
  • Stomach cramps, pain or discomfort
  • Have a severe allergic reaction such as rash, hives; itching, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
  • Blood in stools
  • Frequent fever
  • Feeling hot inside, feeling sluggish, tired

Side effects when using vitamin c and iron

For using vitamin C, if you take the wrong dose or do not follow the doctor’s instructions for a long time, there will be some side effects such as nausea, headache, dizziness, intestinal obstruction, contractions. stomach cramps, diarrhea, increased risk of kidney stones, …. Note, vitamin c should not be used with drugs containing aluminum, estrogen, protease inhibitors to avoid side effects that can damage the body.


Through the above information, it can be seen that iron and vitamin C are essential for the human body. The use of these two foods brings many great benefits to the body. However, it is necessary to consider the dosage before use to avoid unwanted side effects. Solife.blog hope to see you again in the next article.



Trần Hoàng Uyên (Senior Manager Pharmaceutical company) là chuyên gia cấp cao với nhiều năm kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực dược phẩm. Tốt nghiệp cử nhân chuyên ngành Quản lý dược I tại Trường Đại học Y dược TP. Hồ Chí Minh và hiện đang công tác tại công ty dược phẩm. Với hơn 10 năm kinh nghiệm làm việc trong ngành dược, chị Hoàng Uyên là chuyên gia cộng tác tham vấn y khoa cho danh mục blog cũng như các nội dung liên quan trên Solife. (Tran Hoang Uyen (Senior Manager Pharmaceutical company) is a senior specialist with many years of experience in the Pharmaceutical field. She graduated Bachelor of Pharmacy Management I at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City and is currently working for a pharmaceutical company. With more than 10 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry, Ms. Hoang Uyen is a medical consultant collaborator for content on Solife's website.)