Iron and vit B supplements advice please

I have bought some supplements to try and raise my ferritin and B12 levels as per advice on this forum.

Ferrograd C tablets each tablet contains dried ferrous sulphate 325mg in a controlled release equivalent to 105mg elemental iron and vit c as sodium ascorbate 500mg. I also have methyl cobalamin (vit b12) 1000ug.

Do these doses sound right ? Do I need a general vit D supplement too ?

I do sometimes also take a berocca, selenium and cod liver oil. Not sure when to take all of these or what effect they might have on each other!

Any advice would be helpful.

9 Replies

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  • AliF It's difficult to say if you need Vit D without your test result. Have you had that tested? If so, post the result and members can suggest a supplement if necessary.

    Clutter gave you some advice on your B12 in your last post. Did you also get the B Complex? B Complex is also needed to keep B vits in balance.

    Ferrograd C - I have no idea about ferrous sulphate supplements, I can't take iron at that sort of strength. However, from a quick Google that is rather an expensive way of buying it. You could purchase Ferrous Sulphate a lot cheaper and use a Vit C supplement. If you suffer from constipation, or the iron supplement causes it, you will need more than the 500mg Vit C included in the Ferrograd C. If you find you get tummy upset or constipation, find a more gentle form of iron supplement such as iron bisglycinate.

    Personally, I would ditch the Berroca unless there is a special reason you use it. Ingredients:

    Citric Acid Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Vitamin C Magnesium Sulphate Mannitol Calcium Carbonate Magnesium Carbonate Flavouring Sodium Carbonate Niacin Sweeteners (Acesulfame K, Aspartame) Salt Zinc Citrate Colour (Beetroot Red, Beta Carotene) Pantothenic Acid Maltodextrin Riboflavin Thiamin Acacia Gum Vitamin B6 Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil Sugar Trisodium Citrate Anti-Foaming Agent (Polysorbate 60) Folacin (Folic Acid) Antioxidants (Alpha-Tocopherol, Sodium Ascorbate) Biotin Citric Acid Vitamin B12 Contains a source of Phenylalanine

    For B vitamins, you will find everything you need in a good B Complex, Thorne Basic B is a good one with bioavailable ingredients and it contains Folate, which is natural, unlike Folic Acid that is contained in Berroca which is synthetic. You don't need Calcium Carbonate, it's the cheapest form of calcium used in supplements, and although it holds one of the highest concentrations of elemental calcium (35-40%), it is not high in bioavailability and requires the production of extra stomach acid to be absorbed. Unless you know you need to supplement calcium, it's best avoided anyway. Soybean oil you don't need, us hypos should avoid all forms of soy unless fermented.

    Continue with the Selenium, it's very useful in the conversion of T4 to T3.

    Keep your iron supplements four hours away from Levo and take 1000mg Vit C with it. I would keep away from other supplements.

    B Vits you can take in the morning but keep a couple of hours away from Levo.

    I take my thyroid meds in the early hours of the morning when I need to get up for the loo, that makes it much easier to keep them away from any supplements which might affect absorption.

    You can take Vit C in separate doses throughout the day, it helps adrenals and is an immune booster. You can take to bowel tolerance if you wish. I take 1000mg liposomal Vit C before breakfast, again before evening meal. In addition I take 2000mg L-ascorbic acid (powder made into a drink) before bed and that helps give a bowel movement the next day according to Dr Sarah Myhill (and it does work for me).

  • Wow -- thanks seaside Susie for your long and very detailed reply. I really appreciate it.

    The vit D question was a typo -- meant B ! Didn't quite understand Clutter's reply so good to get some clarification. So I DO need to get a good vit B complex as well. Took the b12 yesterday but swallowed it whole instead of putting it between the gum and cheek as it says on the bottle!! Don't know if it is connected but I feel even worse today. Slumped in a chair all day utterly exhausted.

    Thanks for the Berrocca advice.

    Re Levo you say "keep your iron supplements 4 hours away from Levo and take 1000mg with it"

    Do you mean take 1000 mg vit c with the iron ?

    The Selenium I have also contains vits AC and E although I only have one of those left so can buy just selenium next time. I think Isabella Wentz book suggests taking vit E with Selenium.

    When you say " I would keep away from other supplements" do you mean generally or from the Levo? Like you, I take my Levo early in the morning so keep it away from anything else.

    I do feel that I am starting to rattle but am desperate to feel a bit better. At the moment I feel that life is to be endured, not enjoyed, and I am just struggling from one day to the next.

  • AliF

    Re Levo you say "keep your iron supplements 4 hours away from Levo and take 1000mg with it"

    Do you mean take 1000 mg vit c with the iron ?

    Yes, numpty Susie! I'm a fast typer and sometimes my brain doesn't keep up LOL!

    OK then about the Vit D. Did you ever get Vit D tested? Quite a few of us are deficient, in fact probably most of the UK population are because of our weather. It's something you might want to consider testing because all vits and mins need to be optimal for best chance of thyroid hormone to work, so Vit D, B12, ferritin and folate all in a good place = better chance of feeling better.

    I tend to take selenium with my evening meal. Vitamins - morning, minerals - evening is a general thing but some vits are fat soluble (A, D, E and K) so need to be taken with the fattiest meal or some good fat.

    When replacing your supplements, if your budget allows look for good quality ones with words like bioavailable, food state, whole food. Don't waste money on cheap supplements which generally tend to use cheap ingredients (like the calcium carbonate I mentioned) and useless fillers and excipients. For example, the Vit D I use contains Vit D3 and olive oil. That's it, nothing else. Cost me £7.49 for 180 capsules of 5000iu strength and I need one a day. It got my Vit D up from 15 (severely deficient) to 202 in a couple of months with a loading dose then dropping to 5000iu daily. Unfortunately, not all are that reasonably priced but it's worth spending your money on something that can actually do the job.

    I use Solgar methylcobalamin sublingual lozenges, that says to let them dissolve under the tongue. Takes about 30-45 seconds to fully dissolve.

  • Thanks again. I will follow your regime. Need to get some B complex vits . I have Solgar sub lingual B 12. Also have Solgar D -- need to check ingredients. Which make are the ones you mentioned with the olive oil?

  • Methylcobalmin b12 is much better than the one you are taking, more natural and better absorbed

  • SSS excellent advice on everything.

    Ali, yeh she means Vit C with iron taken in one sitting and all other sups in another..

    Re Vit B12 - The cheek and the area under the tongue have a lot of capillaries meaning meds can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream without needing to go through your digestive system, and a Vit B complex is a must .

    So Vit B's are sorted ....but what about Vit D ? ? ...

  • Thanks Radd for clarifying. My ref to vit D was a typo on my part and should have said vit B. But might as well include vit D in my question as you have very kindly asked !

    vit D it wasn't tested by Blue Horizon but was tested by the NHS on the 13th April. The result says Serum vit D (LS) Normal no action 142 nnol/L 50.00 - 174.

    I am assuming those levels are sufficient ??

  • What a really nice Vit D level, are you a sun worshipper? After I got mine up to 202, I dropped my dose to 5 days a week instead of 7, now it sits at 150 and I'm very happy with that. As I'm supplementing, I shall test once or twice a year to make sure I'm not overdoing it, Vit D is stored in the body so we can't excrete any excess. Private testing is available for £28 if not included in the Blue Horizon test.

  • Far from a sun- worshipper ! I did take supplements over the winter and I am outside quite a bit either with work or generally. Don't like being indoors but at the moment I feel so terrible I barely leave my chair. Hoping the iron and b vits will help. Will also try harder to cut out gluten although I don't think I eat much anyway. My folate is high. I eat a fair amount of fruit and veg but not loads so don't know why that is. I am also going to try and address my stress levels which aren't helping.

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