Frequently Asked Questions.

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! On this Active Iron FAQ page we’ve tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. Simply click on the links below to find the answer to your question. If you’ve got a question that we haven’t answered here, be sure to contact us directly and we will be more than happy to help.


Why is iron important?

Iron is essential to life. It contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It plays an important role in normal energy metabolism, oxygen transport, cognitive function, immune function and formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin.

Who is most likely to need iron supplements?
  • Women with periods
  • Pregnant & postpartum women
  • Athletes & endurance exercisers
  • Restricted diets, inc. vegetarians
  • Blood donors
Why is Active Iron better than other iron products on the market?

Active Iron is better absorbed and better tolerated than other iron products.

Active Iron targets the body’s natural site of iron absorption, the DMT-1 in the small intestine. It is clinically proven provide 2X better iron absorption than other iron tablets on the market, working in tune with the body’s needs. Active Iron’s advanced protein formulation helps protect the stomach from the irritating effects of iron, reducing the likelihood of side effects by 6X.

Wang et al. 2017, Acta Haematological, 138: 223-232. Ledwidge et al. Data on file.

Who is Active Iron suitable for?
  • Active Iron contains the recommended daily dose of iron for healthy adults. Those who benefit from taking Active Iron include:
    • Women with periods
    • Pregnant & postpartum women
    • Athletes & endurance exercisers
    • Restricted diets, inc. vegetarians
    • Blood donors
Do these cause constipation?

Active Iron is 6X less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation and typically we see 9/10 people continue to take Active iron due to limited GI no side effects with Active Iron.

Ledwidge et al. Data on file.

How much iron do I need on a daily basis?

Having the correct amount of iron depends on several factors such as gender, age, and diet.

  • Men over the age of 18 need 8.7mg of iron a day.
  • Women of childbearing age, between 19-50, need 14.8mg of iron a day.
  • During pregnancy, the need for iron increases to 30mg a day.
  • Menopausal women aged over 50 need 8.7mg of iron a day.
How and when should I take Active Iron?

Iron supplements work best when taken on an empty stomach, so it is recommended to take your Active Iron tablet first thing in the morning. Active Iron should be taken 1 hour before meals, or 1-2 hours after a meal. If you have a particularly sensitive stomach, it may be best to take your iron supplements after a meal.

Many iron supplements recommend taking iron alongside a glass of orange juice, as Vitamin C acts as a natural enhancer of iron absorption. Active Iron’s superior formulation means that it does not need to be taken with such enhancers, although it is perfectly safe to be taken alongside a glass of orange juice if that is your preference. You should avoid taking Active Iron with milk, caffeine, or antacids (indigestion remedies).

Adults, pregnant women, the elderly, and children over 12 years:

One capsule should be taken daily. Do not exceed the daily dose without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Remember, food supplements are not a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Some people may need to take regular iron supplements in addition to a healthy diet to maintain normal iron levels. As with all supplements, you should discuss with your health professional before using if you are under medical supervision, taking other medicines or if you suffer from food allergies.

How soon after starting are you likely to see a benefit?

Active Iron is clinically proven to increase iron levels by 94%* within 6 weeks, but many start to feel the benefits earlier than that.

*Ledwidge et al. Data on file

Can I get iron from my food?

Yes, you can get iron from food, but iron comes in two forms, and diets high in non-heme iron can result in the body struggling to properly absorb it all.

Iron comes in two forms:  heme and non-heme. Non-heme iron is found in plants, nuts and legumes. This is absorbed at a much lower rate and extent than heme iron, which is found in animal products such as meat, especially red meat.

Those on a vegetarian or plant-based diet may find that, although they are eating plenty of iron-rich foods, they are still prone to developing inadequate iron levels, due to the lowered absorption of non-heme iron in the body.

It’s important to remember that even if you are making a conscious effort to ingest more heme iron, by eating meat, other daily habits like drinking tea and coffee after your meals can reduce iron absorption. 

How does pregnancy impact iron levels?

During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases by up to 50%. Iron needs are increased because the body uses iron to make extra blood to transport oxygen for the mother and baby during this time.

Dietary iron requirements can increase to as much as 30mg per day of iron during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. This may mean supporting a healthy diet with iron supplements when daily iron needs cannot be met through diet alone.

However, food supplements are not a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle. Also, you should not exceed the recommended daily supplement dose of iron without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

Is Active Iron suitable during pregnancy?

Yes, Active Iron is suitable during all trimesters of pregnancy. Iron needs are increased during pregnancy because your body uses iron to make extra blood to transport oxygen for the mother and her baby during this time.

Many iron supplements are known for causing side-effects such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or constipation. Since many pregnant women already experience gastrointestinal side effects, many worry about taking iron during pregnancy and worsening these symptoms.

Active Iron was specifically designed to reduce side effects. Due to its unique formulation, Active Iron is clinically proven to provide 2X better absoprtion* of iron sulfate than other oral irons on the market, while helping to reduce side effects by 6X.**

*Wang et al. 2017, Acta Haematological, 138: 223-232
**Ledwidge et al. Data on file

Can Active Iron be taken while breastfeeding?

Yes, Active Iron is safe to take in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Iron supplementation poses no risk to the baby as very little iron passes into the breast milk.

If the baby shows signs of unusual diarrhea and/or constipation and the mother is taking iron supplementation, this should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist.

NOTE: The information above relates to full term and healthy infants. If the infant is preterm, of low birth weight or has other medical problems, then the advice of a doctor should be sought.

Can I take Active Iron while trying to conceive?

Yes, Active Iron is suitable to take pre, during and post-conception.

Why do heavy exercisers need more iron?

Iron is used by the body’s muscles to help produce energy. Regular exercisers, especially those who enjoy endurance sports such as running, rowing, and cycling, often find they have an increased need for iron, and many turn to iron supplementation to keep these stores up. 

Iron also contributes to oxygen transport in the blood, so maintaining optimal iron levels may result in increased aerobic capacity and all-round performance. Iron also contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, cognitive function, normal immune function and the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin.

Can teenagers take Active Iron?

Yes, teenagers can take Active Iron. Young women beginning their period for the first time may find they need iron supplements to help restore the iron levels lost through menstruation. Active Iron contains 14mg of iron, the recommended daily dose for healthy adults, as well as offering Active Iron Advance, with an inreased 25mg of iron. 

Is Active Iron suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Active Iron is suitable for vegetarians. Vegetarians may benefit from taking an iron supplement if they cannot meet their iron requirements through diet alone. Although a vegetarian diet will be high in iron-rich foods, these plant-based sources of iron contain non-heme iron, which is poorly absorbed by the body. This may be coupled with other potential absorption obstacles such as phytates in whole grains and legumes or tannins in tea and coffee. There is the equivalent of 17 cups of spinach in one capsule of Active Iron!

Is Active Iron suitable for vegans?

Unfortunatley, Active Iron is not suitable for vegans as it contains whey protein. 

What evidence or research supports your claims about Active Iron?

Working with a team of Scientists at Dublin’s premier University, Trinity College Dublin, we developed Active Iron, so people could feel the benefits of iron without the negative side effects.

We believe that women have been putting up with the side effects of oral iron for too long. This led us to carry out further clinical research to find out more about the impact that our mode of action had on compliance and tolerability of oral iron.

Read our research papers here:

Do you ever offer discounts?

All the time! The best way to stay informed on discounts, giveaways, and competitions is the follow us on our social accounts, such as FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive offers and discounts. 

Can you take iron without consulting a doctor?

Yes, as Active Iron is a food supplement (and not a medicine) it is suitable to take without consulting a GP. We recommend Active Iron only to those who are at risk of developing low iron levels (i.e those with regular periods, pregnant & postnatal, vegetarians, heavy exercisers).

How is Active Iron lactose-free if it contains whey protein?

Active Iron contains denatured (deactivated) whey protein. The denaturing process removes the lactose, making it suitable for people who are lactose intolerant.

How can I get more iron in my diet?

Iron-rich foods include:

  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Beans
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Dried fruits
  • Fortified cereals, bread, and pasta.
  • Apricots
  • Dried prunes and currants
  • Dried raisins
  • Dried pears
  • Dried figs
  •  Dried apples
  • Mulberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries

Beverages high in iron include:

  • Spinach juice
  • Pumpkin juice
  • Beetroot juice
  • Prune Juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Grape juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Apple juice
Does coffee inhibit iron absorption?

The tannins in tea and coffee are notorious for inhibiting iron absorption. It is recommended keep a 1-2 hour buffer between taking iron supplements, or eating iron-rich foods, and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Read more

Can you take Active Iron regularly, or is it just a one-time product?

As Active Iron is a food supplement, it is suitable to take consistently to increase/maintain iron levels.

Why is Active Iron packed in aluminium foil?

The aluminium foil protects the Active Iron capsule from light, moisture and air. This ensures that the last capsule is as fresh as the first.

Does Active Iron interact with any medicines or food?

Some medications interact with any iron formulation (not only Active Iron) like Omeprazole or other medications that reduce stomach pH and reduce iron absorption. All iron forms (not only Active Iron) also reduce levothyroxine hormone absorption. In these cases, a gap of 2-3 hours is recommended between iron supplement and the other medication.

Active iron does not interact with contraceptive pills, hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) or multivitamins.

Can I take more than one capsule of Active Iron a day?

Do not exceed the stated dose without first consulting with your doctor or pharmacist.

Are the Active Iron and B Complex discontinued? Or has packaging been changed?
This is now called Active Iron for Women, the packaging was updated.
Can I recycle Active Iron’s packaging?
The Active Iron carton is made from sustainably sourced wood and is 100% recyclable.

The Aluminium blister packs are used to ensure Active Iron’s bio-availability. Check with your local recycling centre whether leaflet and aluminium blister are currently acceptable for recycling.

What does iron saturation mean?

Iron saturation or transferrin saturation is measured as a percentage. It is calculated by dividing the amount of serum iron by total iron-binding capacity (TBIC) – serum iron concentration ÷ total iron-binding capacity.

A low transferrin saturation percentage may indicate low iron or iron-deficiency anemia.

A transferrin saturation percentage may indicate iron overload. Transferrin saturation is also called transferrin saturation index (TSI) or transferrin saturation percentage (TS%). Source: CDC Nutritional Report 2019.

Where is iron stored in the body?

Iron is stored mainly in the liver as ferritin or hemosiderin. The main regulator of iron storage is ferritin.

Ferritin can release iron if the blood has a low iron concentration and it can help to store surplus iron if the blood and tissues have a high iron concentration. The average male has about 1,000 mg of stored iron in their body while a female on average has about 300mg.

How much Vitamin C is in one capsule?

Active Iron contains a small quantity (about 18mg) of vitamin C which acts as a preservative within the formulation.

Vitamin C, if taken in large doses (250-500 mg), can improve the absorption of iron. However, the quantity of vitamin C in Active Iron is not enough to enhance absorption.

Active Iron has been clinically proven to ensure better absorption of iron*. There is no need to use an ‘enhancer’ like Vitamin C to boost absorption further. However, there is no issue you wish to take Active Iron with a Vitamin C supplement or a glass of orange juice.

*Wang et al. 2017, Acta Haematological, 138: 223-232

How does Active Iron differ to prescribed iron or liquid iron?

Active Iron is a food supplement and not a medicine, meaning our products contain 100-179% of the recommended daily allowance of iron, whereas prescription iron has a higher dose. For example, prescription iron may contain 100mg elemental iron. The issue with high dose iron is that it oxidises in the gut and as a result it is poorly absorbed (typically just 10% is absorbed). It is this oxidation and poor absorption that causes gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and constipation in 8/10 people. Typically, 50% of people stop taking iron as a result of these side effects.

Most liquid iron supplements contain a much lower dose of iron which is why they can avoid these common side effects. Although this is a great benefit, they often do not provide sufficient iron to increase iron levels with some only containing 5mg iron per serving.

Active Iron is different. Unlike other oral iron it’s whey protein formula protects the iron from oxidation allowing for 2X better absorption.  As a result Active Iron is clinically proven to increase iron levels by 94% and is gentle on the stomach, helping to prevent gastrointestinal side effects and allowing for 4X better compliance in taking the product.

Is there any risk of iron overdose with Active Iron?

There is an inherited condition called haemochromatosis where iron levels build up slowly over many years. Women with periods will have a slower build up than men as there will be iron loss monthly. There is no way of knowing you have this condition unless you have the genetic screening for it.

Active Iron is a low dose product (from 14mg to 25mg) that is 2X better absorbed compared to other iron supplements. We recommend Active Iron only to those who are at risk of developing low iron levels (i.e those with regular periods, pregnant, vegetarians, heavy exercisers) or have low iron levels.

14mg of iron is the recommended daily allowance for iron set by the regulator (EFSA). 14mg would be considered safe based on daily intake for the average person. A tolerable upper limit of 45mg has been recommended for iron and this is based on tolerability of iron products.

How does Active Iron help alleviate menstrual fatigue?

Blood loss = iron loss = low iron = menstrual fatigue. Menstruation is the leading cause of iron, resulting in 1 in 4 women having low iron levels. Active Iron is clinically proven to increase iron and energy levels to help combat tiredness and fatigue throughout a woman’s cycle.

Is Active Iron safe to take for people diagnosed with Endometriosis?

Yes, Active Iron is safe in endometriosis.

What Causes Endometriosis?

There is no known cause of endometriosis. However, there are a few theories outlining potential causes:

  • Genetics: This condition tends to be hereditary and may be passed down from family members.
  • A Problem with the Immune System: The body’s natural defence against illnesses and infections may not be functioning efficiently.
  • Retrograde Menstruation: When your period flows up through your fallopian tubes and into your pelvis, instead of leaving the body as a “normal” period would. Over time, this tissue can become inflamed and cause pain.
  • Embryonic Cell Changes: Hormones like oestrogen can change embryonic cells – cells in the initial stages of development – into endometrial-like cell growth during the puberty stage.

Endometrial Cell Transfer: Where endometrial cells get transported to other parts of the body by blood vessels or the tissue fluid system.

Can Endometriosis Cause Fatigue?

Endometriosis does certainly cause tiredness, fatigue and low energy.

The second most common symptom of endometriosis is heavy menstrual bleeding.

Menstruation is the most common cause of low iron among women worldwide and, because of low iron, sufferers will feel tired, fatigued and have low energy levels.

With that being said: Menstrual Blood Loss = Iron Loss = Low Energy

If you suffer from endometriosis or heavy periods and, as a result, feel tiredness and fatigue, it may be time to try out an iron supplement. Active Iron is a clinically proven iron supplement. Our product has been shown to increase iron levels by 94% in 6 weeks and helps to fight tiredness and fatigue while being gentle on the stomach!

Can Endometriosis Cause Infertility?

There is a risk of endometriosis leading to problems with fertility. The reason for this is not fully known, due to lack of research. However, even in the most severe cases of endometriosis, natural conception is still possible.

If you suffer from endometriosis and are planning to conceive or are having difficulty conceiving, seeking advice from your healthcare professional is recommended.

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, you should discuss this with your GP.

A recent survey carried out by Active Iron revealed that 72% of women with endometriosis consulted with their healthcare professional to receive their diagnosis.

It would be beneficial to keep note of what you are experiencing i.e. symptoms, dates & length of your period etc. This will help establish any trends in your cycle and provide a clear understanding of exactly what you are going through, throughout your cycle.

Your GP may recommend a medication to help alleviate these symptoms. On the other hand, you may need to consult with a gynaecologist who can carry out further tests on you. These may include an ultrasound scan or a laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy: Where a thin tube is passed through a small incision in your tummy. This will identify any patches of endometriosis tissue.

An endometriosis diagnosis can take quite a while (sometimes years) to diagnosis, which is an issue in itself. Once you have received a diagnosis, your healthcare professional will discuss treatments and next steps.

What are the First Signs of Endometriosis?

There are many signs and symptoms of endometriosis.

The most common signs of the condition include:

  • Pain in the lower tummy/back
  • Severe period pain
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pain during/after sex

While these are all symptoms of endometriosis, this may not mean that you necessarily have endometriosis. However, if you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms or your period causes you concern, we recommend you seeking advice from your GP/healthcare professional.