There are a lot of supplements out there that “claim” to do something. However, many of these claims are not actually backed by any scientific data. Therefore, advertising authorities have such strict measures about what can and cannot be said about health supplements. But we think vegan iron supplements are different.
Because low levels of iron can indeed lead to fatigue. And if you are living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it could mean you are getting even lower levels of iron. This is because our bodies get most of our iron from the meat in our diets. And we also get it from milk and eggs, which make this a no-go zone for vegans.
The big reason why people might take iron is to fight off iron deficiency anemia. This has a number of side effects. And the main one is feeling tired all the time. But the second big reason to take iron is during pregnancy. A mum-to-be is producing much more blood, which consumes more iron. This can leave pregnant women short on iron, and so feeling lethargic and tired. That’s why it’s often recommended that pregnant women take iron.
Not all iron supplements are equal. For those who use iron supplements to boost the body and energy levels, the issue of constipation or an upset tummy is a common complaint. This is usually a side effect of taking too high a dose of iron (over 20mg). The daily recommended amount of iron needed is 8.7mg for men over 18, 14.8mg for women aged 19 to 50 and 8.7mg for women over 50. For pregnant women, it’s 27mg and no more than 45mg.
Rating Top 7 Vegan Iron Supplements
So, we assessed over 20 products on the market to come up with the 7 best vegan iron supplements to try. We rate the best gummies on five different metrics on a five points scale (1 = worst , 5 = best).
- Company – who is the company? What is their ethos, and their brand?
- Daily dosage – can this be an effective part of a daily regime? Are the gummy dose sizes helpful?
- Formulation – what has been added to the gummy to give the consumer more benefits?
- Value – cheap is rarely the best. How can one choose the best valued gummy on the market which balances cost with effectiveness?
- Packaging – we are always on the look-out for sustainable packaging, and assign huge downgrades for single-use plastic or carbon intensive packaging solutions
#1 (25/25 points) Floradix Floravital Liquid Iron
Company (5/5): Floradix is an iconic herbal health foods company, founded over 100 years ago in 1916 by Dr Med Greither. His son Otto Greither still leads the business today. Floradix grew from humble beginnings in the foothills of the German countryside. Today, it boosts the health of consumers in over 65 countries worldwide.
Daily dosage (5/5): The dosage of 20ml per day contains 19.2mg which is 137% of the daily recommended intake for females. However, there is the ability to dose this lower, as the format is a liquid. However, if you are a new or expecting mother, experts recommend up to 27mg per day. The ability to vary dosage gives this supplement a perfect score.
Formulation (5/5): One of the most popular iron supplements on the market and consumers love its liquid formulation. The feedback from consumers is this tends to cause less issues with constipation. In addition, the formulation contains B12, a tough vitamin for vegetarians to get as its found mainly in meat. A boost of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 makes this the best formula we have seen in the iron supplement space.
Value (5/5): At £11.99, this is the great value for your money and is also the highest quality.
Packaging (5/5): It’s a glass jar with a metal lid, both of which are 100% recyclable. It doesn’t really get more sustainable than that.
#2 (23/25 points) Vegums Iron Gummies
Company (5/5): We almost give Vegums full marks off the bat just for being a carbon negative company. The company was founded by two plant-based pharmacists and uses a wide range of natural colours.
Daily dosage (4/5): Capsules allow for dosing of 14mg per day, which is the maximum recommended for females, while male are half of that dose. However, it doesn’t allow for too much variation, so we knock this down a point.
Formulation (4/5): It gets a knock for sugar, which is almost impossible to avoid in the gummy category. Bonus points for using colouring from plant-based sources like spirulina and black carrot.
Value (5/5): At £12.95, this product is amazingly affordable and ranks high across all our metrics.
Packaging (5/5): All packaging is biodegradable and recyclable and looks amazing. Another perfect score.
#3 (22/25 points) Dr Vegan Gentle Iron + Vitamin C
Company (4/5): The mission of Dr. Vegan is to bring clarity, ethics and the finest natural ingredients to the nutrition and wellness space. The unique formulas with plant-based ingredients, are made in the UK.
Daily dosage (3/5): One capsule is 18mg, which is slightly above the recommended daily take for females. It also doesn’t allow for variation down or up for males or pregnant females.
Formulation (4/5): The added Vitamin C is a bonus, which helps improve iron absorption
Value (5/5): £6.49 for a month’s supply, makes this offering quite competitive with the rest of the market.
Packaging (5/5): The company delivers product in plastic-free and home compostable products, with the convenient refillable Pill Tin, included with the first order. We support the mission!
#4 (21.5/25 points) Solgar Gentle Iron Capsules
Company (5/5): Solgar is the result of over 70 years of commitment to quality, health and wellbeing. The brand’s mission throughout the decades has remained the same: to create the finest nutritional supplements in small batches, backed up with deep research, and using only the best raw materials. We are big fans of this company, and love the way the company keep innovating, along with its instantly recognizable gold label.
Daily dosage (3/5): Each capsule is 20mg, above the daily limit slightly and not allowing for variation of dosing, which knocks off some points.
Formulation (3.5/5): Iron bisglycinate is a unique and highly absorbable vegan iron tablet. It’s gentle on the stomach, which is an issue with some iron supplements. However, no other vitamins in the formulation give other brands a leg up on this product.
Value (5/5): £12.50 for 90 capsules or three months of supply, gives this brand perfect marks.
Packaging (5/5): Recyclable glass jar and an aluminium lid give this brand top marks.
#5 (19.5/25 points) Together Health Gentle Iron with B Vitamins
Company (3/5): The company was created out of a love for clean and effective nutrition, transparent sourcing, minimal environmental impact and helping others be well. A generic statement about the company, but they make up for it was a cool logo with a heart in the middle, and a subscription model.
Daily dosage (3/5): 1 capsule is 16mg of iron, or just above the recommended daily dose for women. It is almost 2x the daily recommends for men. In addition, the dose amount doesn’t allow for pregnant women to correctly reach their dose level.
Formulation (4.5/5): Some other goodies in the formulation with B6, B12 and folic acid make this product almost perfect.
Value (5/5): £7.99 for a month’s supply, which is at the low end of iron supplements.
Packaging (5/5): Plastic free and full compostable, this one gets a perfect score.
#6 (19/25 points) Wicked Gummy Co Iron Gummies
Company (4.5/5): A delightful story behind this company founded by two long-time friends who wanted to shake up the supplement industry and make it more accessible. The branding is enticing, although we do find it mixes up the message of being a health company. This prevents us from giving them a perfect score, but we still love what they do across a range of gummies.
Daily dosage (4.5/5): The product comes with 60 capsules and recommends taking two per day which is equal to 14mg, or the daily recommend allowance for females. Note men are half of the dosage so only need to take one. The dosage amounts mean one jar will last an entire month. However, it doesn’t allow for too much variation, so we knock this down 0.5.
Formulation (3/5): A bit of a knock because of the sugar in the formulation, and lack of other vitamins in the formulation. If you are looking for a straight iron gummy supplement though, this is the place to look.
Value (3/5): As usual with the Wicked Gummy Range the price of this jar £19.99 makes a monthly supplement affordable without sacrificing quality. Although it’s still more expensive than other brands in our survey,
Packaging (4/5): They claim the packaging is 100% recyclable and are actively looking for ways to further reduce their environmental impact.
#7 (18.5/25 points) Natures Best Iron Complex
Company (4/5): Established in Tunbridge Wells in 1981, this company was one of the first suppliers of high-quality nutritional supplements direct to the public. All their products are made, tested and packed in the U.K. All supplements have best before dates with science backed formulas and focus on nutritional potency in their formulations. While the branding is quite bland, we think these points more to the science-backed approach of the company rather than flashy marketing.
Daily dosage (3.5/5): The daily recommended dose of 20mg is just above the daily recommended amount for females, but within range of others on the market. For pregnant women who need more iron, it makes it a bit difficult to increase dosage.
Formulation (4/5): They have added in B12, which gives this formula a slight boost versus other iron supplements.
Value (5/5): At £11.95 for 120 tablets this amounts to two months supply and is one of the best value we have seen on the market.
Packaging (2/5): We would like to see more of a commitment to sustainable packaging. It looks to be plastic, but we cannot tell if its recyclable and there is no mention of the commitment to the environment.
There are some amazing options for iron supplements, and an easy thing to try for low energy levels. The perfect score for Floradix is not surprising. It is also one of the most popular and positively reviewed products on the GreenBox site. Everything to know about Floradix, is on our site.