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Iron Has Low Bioavailability—Here's One Way To Enhance Absorption

Hannah Frye
Author:
September 11, 2022
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
By Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Nataša Mandić / Stocksy
Image by Nataša Mandić / Stocksy
September 11, 2022

Fact: Your body doesn’t absorb every nutrient you feed it in full. One particularly testy nutrient? Iron. That’s right, the essential mineral iron is notoriously difficult to absorb. What’s more, you lose a certain amount of iron (e.g., in your urine, sweat, etc.) each day, and those who menstruate lose even more iron when they get their periods each month. 

If you’re looking to increase your absorption of dietary iron (especially non-heme iron from plants) or you just want to enhance the effectiveness of your iron supplement, keep reading. There’s one vitamin you may be skipping over. 

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How does vitamin C enhance iron absorption?

A quick refresher: Heme and non-heme iron come from different sources. Heme iron comes from animal sources (think meat, fish, and poultry), while non-heme iron comes from both plants and animals. The latter is not absorbed in the body quite as easily as animal-sourced iron. 

So if your diet consists of mainly plant-sources, you may have a bit of a harder time absorbing the amount of iron your body needs. However, there’s one essential nutrient that can assist this process: vitamin C. 

Vitamin C helps to enhance the bioavailability1 of non-heme iron. Translation? The presence of vitamin C makes non-heme iron more easily available for the body to absorb and use.* 

Additionally, vitamin C optimizes the uptake of iron from transferrin (the protein that transports iron through the blood), ensuring that iron is absorbed not only properly but efficiently distributed in the body as well.* Pretty cool, right?

For this process to happen, you obviously need to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C in the first place. One surefire method: daily supplementation. If you’d rather not search high and low for a vitamin C supplement that’s potent, easy on the stomach, and bioavailable, we’ve got you covered. Enter, mbg's vitamin C potency+.

This supplement contains a blend of high-potency vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids. Altogether, this complex supplement delivers a strong dose of antioxidants—and ultimately serving up the equivalent vitamin C strength of 15 whole oranges in fact.‡ This way, you can ensure your vitamin C is prepped and ready to support your iron intake. 

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The takeaway. 

Your body can’t absorb every nutrient you feed it—especially when it comes to iron. Luckily, vitamin C can enhance the bioavailability of non-heme iron and optimize the uptake of iron, ensuring your body can efficiently distribute it.* All of this is great news, but there’s even more reason to take a vitamin C supplement for full-body health support—here are a few standout perks, if you’re curious.*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
‡ 1 serving (2 capsules) of vitamin C potency+ delivers 1,000 mg (1 g) of vitamin C. That’s equivalent to the average vitamin C content provided in 15 whole oranges per USDA nutrient analysis data.
Hannah Frye
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.