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I was diagnosed with anemia around six years ago now and have been taking iron tablets as well as various other supplements since. Anemia is a condition which makes it difficult for my blood to carry oxygen, resulting in fatigue, tiredness and at times dizziness. It also makes me appear very pale and sickly when I haven't had my iron supplements. Iron tablets help to reverse anemia, and also have other health benefits such as helping to prevent hair loss. When it comes to iron tablets I am certianly not brand loyal and i've tried everything from Tesco and Asda's own brand to these, the ones from Holland and Barett. I don't usually shop at holland and barrett as I have always thought of them as been a little overpriced but my mum actually bought me these tablets around three months ago now.
The iron tablets are priced at £11.35 for 200 15mg caplets, which works out at around 6p each. In my opinion this is very overpriced when you look at how cheap Asda and Teco's own brand versions are - Asda charge £2 for 180! The iron tablets are also on long term offer at holland and barett, you can buy two packs of 200 for £17.02 which again, I think is quite expensive, however as these were bought for me I can't really complain about the price, but I certianly wouldn't buy this brand with my own money as I feel there's more important thing to spend a tenner or so on and don't see much point in spending that much when there are much cheaper alternatives.
The iron tablets come in a medium sized green bottle which has a child proof lid. The bottle is made of a sturdy, good quality plastic and it has a label wrapped aound it with all of the information you need written on the back as well as the product and brand name on the front making it clear what the bottle contains and what the tablets do. The bottle is quite a generous size but it's compact and it doesn't look out of my place on my kitchen work top, which is where I keep it so that I don't forget to take my tablet.
The tablets themselves are an oval shape and quite large - around 1.5-2cm long and a cm or so thick. They're a dark green, almost black colour and have a chalk like texture to them. I'm awful at swallowing any size tablet so I wasn't keen on swallowing one of these whole as they seem huge, however they're (luckily) easy to break in half using a knife or alternatively the tablet can be crushed up and mixed into a glass of juice. I have actually managed to swallow one whole a couple of times (with the help from a huge glass of water!) but it wasn't pleasant; it felt like it was stuck in my throat! Each tablet as I briefly mentioned before is 15mg which is 107% of the reccomended daily allowence.
It is important before taking these tablets to consult your doctor to make sure that you do have anemia and do need iron supplements. It is also worth noting that iron tablets don't come free from side effects. Some side effects include: black stools (poo), constipation or diarrhoea. They can also irritate the stomach and therefor should be taken after food to prevent this. Holland and barrett guarentee that the tablets are free of sweeteners, artificial colours and flavourings. They are suitable for people with milk allergies as they are free of milk, as well as lactose, soya, gluten, wheat, yeast, fish and porcine. The tablets should be kept out of sight of children.
I first started taking these tablets a few months ago now during my pregnancy. I had taken a break from my iron tablets before I discovered that I was pregnant and I started taking them again as soon as I found out. The tablets are safe to be taken during pregnancy and they can also be taken when breastfeeding but you will need to consult your doctor first. It took a few weeks until I noticed a change in my energy levels. It wasn't a huge change but I felt more like myself rather than feeling like I was in a bubble all the time and I didn't need to sleep half as much as i'd been sleeping prior to taking the tablets.
They gave me that bit of extra oompth and I didn't feel drained and ill at all, obviously pregnancy took its toll on my body but I feel that these iron tablets really did help and I am continuing to take them - I currently feel the most normal (not tired and fatigued) i've felt in ages; despite my lack of sleep due to baby, I don't feel too bad and I am not as as pale/washed out which I do genuinely feel is down to the iron tablets. I don't particullary feel like these do much more, or are stronger than the cheaper brands that i've used so once my bottle has run out I will not be purchasing another bottle of this brand due to the price.
I take one tablet a day (the reccomended dose) after my breakfast and it takes less than 2 minutes to do and the benefits are definetly worth it. If you have an iroin deffiency then there are also other ways to get more iron into your diet; some iron rich foods include liver, beef, wholemeal bread, eggs and dried fruit. However, if you do want to take an iron supplement I would reccomend these - if you don't mind paying the price of course and if the size doesn't put you off. They do work but they're nothing special, and I won't be purchasing again purely down to the fact that there are cheaper and just as effective brands of iron tablets available.