- Iron is an essential nutrient—it supports blood healthy and energy metabolism.
- But due to changes in the body during and after menopause, women generally need less iron after 50.
We get it, iron—you’re kind of a big deal. While this essential nutrient does a lot of heavy-lifting in the body, it’s most important role might be supporting blood health. To get specific, iron is present in hemoglobin, the protein in your blood responsible for transporting oxygen to the rest of the body. It also helps support red blood cell formation and energy metabolism. Kind of a high-profile job, right?
Making sure you’re meeting your iron needs is important throughout your life. But when you’re menstruating, that monthly blood loss means that you need to take extra care. That’s why we recommend supplementing with iron before menopause, and why we include iron in both our Essential for Women multivitamin and Essential Prenatal. (Your iron needs increase when you’re pregnant.)*
Why you need less iron after menopause
This all changes after menopause. Since you’re no longer getting a monthly period, your daily recommended value goes from 18 mg to 8 mg. That means it’s a lot easier to meet your iron needs through your diet alone—most women over 50 get more than 8 mg of iron per day through the foods they eat.*