• * Human breast milk has more bioavailable iron than formula. Iron in cow's milk is poorly absorbed.
  • In the U.S., cow's milk is not recommended until the age of one year
  • Reference [1]
U.S. recommended dietary iron intake
Age Male (mg/day) Female (mg/day)
0 - 6 months 0.27* 0.27*
7 - 12 months 11 11
1 - 3 years 7 7
4 - 8 years 10 10
9 - 13 years 8 8
14 - 18 years 11 15
19 - 30 years 8 18
31 - 50 years 8 18
≥ 51 years 8 8
Pregnancy - 27



  • Reference [6]
Food sources of heme iron
Food Iron content per 1 serving (3 ounces)
Chicken liver 11 mg
Canned oysters 5.7 mg
Beef liver 5.2 mg
Beef chuck 3.1 mg
Turkey, dark meat 2.0 mg
Beef, ground 2.2 mg
Beef, top sirloin 1.6 mg
Tuna, light 1.3 mg
Turkey, light meat 1.1 mg
Chicken, dark meat 1.1 mg
Chicken, light meat 0.9 mg
Pork, loin chop 0.7 mg
Halibut 0.2 mg

  • Reference - 6
Food sources of nonheme iron
Food
(serving size)
Iron content per 1 serving
Iron-fortified cereal
(3/4 cup)
18 mg
Oatmeal, instant
(1 packet)
11 mg
Soybeans
(1 cup)
8.8 mg
Beans, kidney
(1 cup)
5.2 mg
Beans, lima
(1 cup)
4.5 mg
Black eyed peas
(1 cup)
4.3 mg
Beans, navy
(1 cup)
4.3 mg
Beans, black
(1 cup)
3.6 mg
Beans, pinto
(1 cup)
3.6 mg
Tofu
(1/2 cup)
3.4 mg
Spinach, fresh
(1/2 cup)
3.2 mg
Raisins
(1/2 cup)
1.6 mg
Bread, white
(1 slice)
0.9 mg
Bread, whole-wheat
(1 slice)
0.7 mg






  • Reference [6]
Iron form % elemental iron Other
Ferrous gluconate 12%
  • 325 mg tablet = 39 mg elemental iron
  • Available over-the-counter
Ferrous sulfate 20%
  • 325 mg tablet = 65 mg elemental iron
  • Fer-In-Sol® drops (75 mg/ml) = 15 mg elemental iron/ml
  • Available over-the-counter
Ferrous fumarate 33%
  • 325 mg tablet = 107 mg elemental iron
  • Ferrous fumarate is available over-the-counter and it is also found in birth control pills