Ferrofood Review: Pro, Cons, and How It Works

This review is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that an extensive list with all used Sources is available at the end of the review.

The information in our reviews is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Standard Process Ferrofood is a whole food iron supplement formulated to support the immune system, healthy blood, hemoglobin production, and cellular integrity.

Our understanding regarding the body’s need for iron is far more sophisticated than that of the ancient Egyptians, who used the mineral to support healthy hair and reduce hair loss. 

Historical documents also revealed how ancient Greeks used iron blended with wine to help restore age-related decrease of sexual drive. 

Over hundreds of years, the need for iron to maintain metabolic activity and human nutrition has been scientifically analyzed and well documented. 

Low amounts of iron in the blood can result in a range of severe health problems, including iron deficiency anemia. Today, around 10 million Americans have low iron levels, and roughly half of these have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia.

Introduction

Ferrofood is one of the many iron dietary supplements available on the market. However, the unique formula developed by Standard Process comes with some extra perks. 

Unlike most iron-based supplements, Ferrofood enhances the benefits of a standard iron supplement with a proprietary blend of various animal and plant extracts. In fact, these types of proprietary blends are what make Standard Process one of the most appreciated supplement manufacturers in the United States.

Read our full Standard Process Ferrofood review below for an in-depth analysis of all the key features of this iron supplement. 

Our Ferrofood review will give you helpful information on the manufacturer, how it works, potential side effects & warnings, claimed benefits, the best stores to buy it from, how it works, the average price per serving, and a clear conclusion to help you make an informed decision.

About Standard Process

Ferrofood is made by Standard Process, a multi-generational, family-owned, and operated nutritional supplement company founded by Dr. Royal Lee in 1929. 

Dr. Lee endowed Standard Process as an alternative to low-quality dietary supplements and processed foods available in every store and market across the United States. He understood that processed foods exhausted our food sources of the rich nutrition once found in them. 

Dr. Lee recognized that good health comes from healthy nutrition, and the best nutrition comes from whole foods. So he dedicated his life to developing whole-food-based supplements from the soil used to grow crops to the manufacturing techniques used to produce the supplement.

Today, Standard Process is one of the foremost supplement manufacturers and sellers. Some of their most recognizable products include:

How to contact the Standard Process company:

  • Website: standardprocess.com
  • Address: 1200 W. Royal Lee Drive, Palmyra, WI 53156
  • Phone: 800-558-8740 (toll-free)
  • Fax: 800-438-3799

Ferrofood ingredients

Standard Process Ferrofood contains the following active ingredients per serving (one capsule):

  • Vitamin C 30 mg
  • Vitamin B12 1.7 mcg
  • Iron 10 mg
  • Proprietary blend [bovine liver, bovine bone, carbamide, defatted wheat (germ), porcine duodenum, veal bone, bovine spleen PMG extract, bovine adrenal, choline bitartrate, carrot (root), bovine spleen, oat flour, ovine spleen, para-aminobenzoate, citric acid, dried alfalfa (whole plant) juice, porcine stomach parenchyma, shiitake mushroom extract, Tillandsia usneoides, licorice (root), rice (bran), flaxseed oil extract, magnesium citrate, and bovine liver fat extract] 234 mg

Inactive ingredients include gelatin, camu camu (berry), manioc (root), acerola (berry), ferrous lactate, dicalcium phosphate, water, calcium stearate, and cyanocobalamin.

Claimed benefits

This next part of our Ferrofood review will analyze some core active ingredients included in the formula. 

Vitamin C (30 mg)

For minerals and vitamins to work properly, they must be taken in a balanced fashion. Therefore, the variety of ingredients in Ferrofood are combined to promote a consistent amount of iron and complementary nutrients, such as vitamin C, that aid in iron absorption. 

In addition, the alfalfa and mushrooms (shiitake and reishi) contribute minerals and other nutritional compounds to enhance iron absorption further.

In a recent worrisome statistic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 7.1% of the U.S. population can be classified as vitamin C deficient.

Individuals with a severe dietary deficiency of vitamin C can develop scurvy, characterized by bleeding gums, bruising, rash, weakness, and fatigue.

Besides aiding iron absorption, vitamin C has its own benefits as well. Outside of a known deficiency, vitamin C is believed to help in treating or preventing numerous diseases, including colds, cancer, asthma, bronchitis, chronic pain, gastritis, Parkinson’s disease, cataracts, glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

Although vitamin C is deemed an “immune booster,” there is little indication that taking it can actually prevent or treat an infection. 

Iron (10 mg)

Iron is a mineral indispensable to the proper function of hemoglobin, a protein needed to transport oxygen in the blood. Iron also plays a key role in the essential protein activity of every cell in the human body. Therefore, insufficient iron in the diet can affect the efficiency with which the body uses energy. 

Iron carries oxygen to the brain and muscles and is crucial for both physical and mental performance. Low iron levels may result in reduced stamina, increased irritability, and a lack of focus.

Low iron consumption during pregnancy raises the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and iron stores, and impaired behavioral or cognitive development in infants. In addition, pregnant mothers with low iron levels may be more predisposed to infection because iron also strengthens the immune system.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for elemental iron to sustain optimal health depends upon many factors – age, gender, growth periods, known medical conditions, pregnancy, dietary habits, etc. 

Infants:

  • 0 to 6 months: 0.27 mg
  • 7 to 12 months: 11 mg

Kids:

  • 1 to 3 years: 7 mg
  • 4 to 8 years: 10 mg

Women:

  • 9 to 13 years: 8 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 15 mg
  • 19 to 50 years: 18 mg
  • 51 years and older: 8 mg
  • During pregnancy: 27 mg

Men:

  • 9 to 13 years: 8 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 11 mg
  • 19 years and older: 8 mg

Like calcium, iron absorption depends on its source, and the

combination of nutrients ingested simultaneously. Therefore, iron supplements can be helpful when people find it difficult to take in enough iron through only dietary measures. 

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient-related conditions among infants, young children, women, and the elderly.

Vitamin B12 (1.7 mcg)

Vitamin B12 from bovine liver and alfalfa works along with iron to encourage healthy red-blood-cell formation.

Low vitamin B12 levels cause a reduction in red blood cell formation and prevent them from developing properly.

Healthy red blood cells are small and round, whereas they become larger and typically oval in cases of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Due to this more oversized and irregular shape, the red blood cells cannot travel from the bone marrow into the bloodstream at an appropriate rate, causing megaloblastic anemia.

Vitamin B12 is also vital during pregnancy. Studies show that a fetus’s brain and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels from the mother to develop correctly.

Vitamin B12 deficiency in the onset stages of pregnancy may raise the risk of congenital disabilities, such as neural tube defects. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to miscarriage or premature birth. 

Proprietary blend (234 mg)

The most important part of the Ferrofood formulation is the proprietary blend (234 mg) consisting of key ingredients such as bovine liver extract, ribonucleic acid, bovine spleen PMG extract, para-aminobenzoate, flaxseed oil extract, alfalfa, shiitake mushroom extract, and choline bitartrate.

Shiitake mushrooms are viewed by many as superfoods that have gained a lot of traction in the supplement industry. 

Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) have been a known herbal remedy in alternative medicine for centuries. Some of their claimed benefits include:

  • Help prevent gingivitis
  • Promote heart health
  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce the risk of prostate cancer

Choline is an essential nutrient that plays an integral part in many processes in your body, including:

  • Fat transport and metabolism: It is necessary for making a substance required for removing cholesterol from your liver.
  • Cell structure: It is needed to produce substances that maintain the structural integrity of cell membranes 
  • A healthy nervous system: Choline is required to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter involved in muscle movement, regulating heartbeat, and memory.
  • DNA synthesis: Alongside other vitamins, such as folate and vitamin B12, choline helps with a process crucial for DNA synthesis.
  • Cell messaging: It is required in the production of compounds that serve as cell messengers.

Choline also supports memory and cognitive function, and it is essential for brain development. 

In one observational study from 2019, scientists discovered that inadequate zinc, vitamin C, and choline levels were associated with poorer working memory in older men.

Another observational study of 2,195 participants aged 70–74 years showed how higher choline levels had better cognitive functioning than subjects with low choline levels.

Price per serving & where to buy

Standard Process Ferrofood is available in two packages:

  • 40 capsules for $13.02 ($0.32 per capsule)
  • 150 capsules for $39.68 ($0.26 per capsule)

For those interested in buying this iron supplement, there are two ways of doing that. 

First, you can order Ferrofood from several online retailers such as Walmart, eBay, or Amazon. Prices may vary from one store to another.

Second is through your healthcare provider since Standard Process sells mainly through healthcare providers. More information is available on their official website here.

Ferrofood review – Claimed benefits

Pros

  • It provides a good amount of iron, with the added benefits of other potent ingredients that work synergistically with iron, improving the absorption of the mineral
  • Supports cellular integrity
  • Promotes and supports normal blood production
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews online

Cons

  • Ferrofood contains animal extracts, making it unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • It is more expensive than your average iron supplement
  • Only recommended to those with an iron deficiency or people prone to develop an iron deficiency

User reviews

OneBrainReviews Avatar

I have finally found an iron supplement that works well and does more good for my body than harm. I am so glad my naturopath doctor recommended this product. Thanks, Standard Process, for an excellent iron supplement. […] Read full review


OneBrainReviews Avatar

Love Ferrofood. It not only took care of my restless leg syndrome, but no shortness of breath, and I noticed my eye bags were gone, and for 32 yrs I always had dry, flaky lips from one side only but noticed […] Read full review


OneBrainReviews Avatar

When I became anemic a few years ago, I started taking the inexpensive iron pills sold in the stores and pharmacies, but they didn’t work! A friend at work gave me some of these pills, and what a difference! My stool would turn dark with the regular pills, plus I was constipated, and I wasn’t getting any better. I took the Ferrofood and […] Read full review

Risks and warnings

Standard Process Ferrofood contains iron, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and a blend of animal and plant extras. Most of these ingredients are deemed safe to use with no associated adverse effects.

Ferrofood also contains ingredients that may cause negative interactions or adverse effects when taken over long periods. Taking large doses of iron, for instance, can cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains.

Iron supplements can also mitigate the effects of specific prescriptions, including those for treating restless leg syndrome and thyroid problems. In addition, reflux disease medications can reduce the amount of iron that the body absorbs from food and supplements.

As always, we recommend consulting the product packaging label for the most accurate product information. In addition, it is always important to discuss with a medical doctor whether you should use an iron supplement, mainly if you take any prescription medication.

Recommended serving size

As a dietary supplement, take one (1) capsule per day with food or as directed by a healthcare provider.

The suggested doses for oral iron supplementation for most individuals range from 8 mg to 27 mg. The higher doses usually apply to iron-deficient people and pregnant women.

Do not exceed the maximum daily dose. Taking too much iron could lead to severe, life-threatening side effects.

Comparison with competitors

Before we conclude our Ferrofood review, let’s take a quick look over several other iron supplements that may represent good alternatives for those not convinced by this formulation’s benefits.

Fermented Iron Complex made by New Chapter – This popular iron supplement contains organic whole-food ingredients that support healthy iron levels without causing adverse effects such as constipation or stomach upset. 

Similar to Ferrofood, the formula developed by New Chapter encompasses numerous ingredients demonstrated to work with iron, increasing absorption and overall benefits of the mineral. It builds blood and supports natural energy production with iron plus five essential vitamins and minerals: vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B12, and zinc.

One bottle of New Chapter Fermented Iron Complex (60 tablets / 60 servings) costs $26.95. The product is widely available online, but, in general, the supplement is cheaper on Amazon, where it is often on sale (plus the free shipping benefits for all Amazon Prime members).

Iron Plus Vitamin C made by Vitron-C – This more standard approach to iron supplementation may be appealing to those looking for a cheaper alternative. And at just $12.97 for a 60-tablets bottle, Iron Plus Vitamin C offers just that.

The formula contains more significant amounts of carbonyl iron (which provides gradual and gentle iron absorption and helps minimize constipation), plus 125 mg of vitamin C for added absorption and immune system support.

Women’s Iron with Folic Acid made by Windsor Botanicals – Women are particularly susceptible to an iron deficiency when pregnant and from blood loss during periods. Women’s Iron with Folic Acid contains 35 mg of iron (as ferrous sulphate), which is 194 percent of your daily value. 

The second active ingredient in this formula is folate (vitamin B9), an essential DNA and blood cell builder and protects against anemia. Folate is vital for normal fetal development during pregnancy. It can decrease the chances of birth defects, including Spina Bifida, and diminish the risk of preterm births.

One bottle of Women’s Iron with Folic Acid costs $20.99 (180 tablets / 180 servings), making it a very affordable iron-based supplement.

The takeaway

Standard Process Ferrofood is one of the best iron supplements available on the market. Iron supplements can treat iron deficiency anemia or help reverse low iron levels. They can generate results quicker than diet interventions and are frequently regarded as the treatment method of choice.

Ferrofood may be beneficial among people prone to low iron levels, especially if they cannot maintain a good iron status through diet alone. 

Several good examples are:

  • Infants and young children
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
  • Those who have undergone gastric surgery
  • People who donate blood frequently
  • Women experiencing heavy periods
  • People with gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease
  • People regularly partaking in heavy exercise
  • Those taking iron-depleting medications
  • Vegetarians, vegans, or people following a strict diet or weight-loss regime
  • People with blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia

It’s important to note that taking iron supplements when they’re unnecessary could harm your health, partially because they contain high doses of iron, which can reduce the absorption of other nutrients in your gut and cause digestive issues.

Therefore, we recommend discussing with your healthcare provider before taking Standard Process Ferrofood or any other iron supplement.

Frequently Asked Questions


As a dietary supplement, take one (1) capsule per day with food or as directed by a healthcare provider.

Many iron-based dietary supplements are linked to various adverse effects, including stomach pain, stomach discomfort, or constipation. However, based on the reviews and testimonials available online, Ferrofood does not cause any of these side effects.

Standard Process Ferrofood is a whole food iron supplement that contains a natural, organically combined source of iron derived from whole foods to support the body’s need for this mineral. The supplement is typically recommended to those who don’t get enough iron, have an iron deficiency, or are prone to developing an iron deficiency.

According to Standard Process, Ferrofood is safe and even recommended during pregnancy. In fact, many medical doctors prescribe either a multivitamin or an iron-based supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Ferrofood is certified organic and compatible with common diets, including gluten-free diet, Atkins diet, acid alkaline diet, macrobiotic diet, low-carb diet, and the Mediterranean diet.

Standard Process Ferrofood is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as the formula contains various animal extracts.



Sources

At OneBrainReviews, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer-reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

  • Jeffery L. Miller – Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease. Published in July 2013. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Iron – Fact Sheet for Health Professionals – National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Pregnancy and birth: Do all pregnant women need to take iron supplements? – Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Published on December 22, 2009. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Paul Vaucher, Pierre-Louis Druais, Sophie Waldvogel, and Bernard Favrat – Effect of iron supplementation on fatigue in nonanemic menstruating women with low ferritin: a randomized controlled trial. Published on August 7, 2012. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • I. Jáuregui-Lobera – Iron deficiency and cognitive functions. Published on September 15, 2014. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Cara F. Dosman, Jessica A. Brian, Irene E. Drmic, Ambikaipakan Senthilselvan, Mary M. Harford, Ryan W. Smith, Waseem Sharieff, Stanley H. Zlotkin, Harvey Moldofsky, and S. Wendy Roberts – Children With Autism: Effect of Iron Supplementation on Sleep and Ferritin. Published on March 1, 2007. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Rosemary L. Schleicher, Margaret D. Carroll, Earl S. Ford, and David A. Lacher – Serum vitamin C and the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency in the United States: 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Published on November 5, 2009. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Joseph Quinn, Bryan Gerber, Ryan Fouche, Katharine Kenyon, Zachary Blom, and Purushothaman Muthukanagaraj – Effect of High-Dose Vitamin C Infusion in a Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase-Deficient Patient. Published on November 26, 2017. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Vitamin C – Fact Sheet for Consumers – National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Anne M. Molloy, Peadar N. Kirke, Lawrence C. Brody, John M. Scott, and James L. Mills – Effects of folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies during pregnancy on fetal, infant, and child development. Published June 2008. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Anne M. Molloy, Peadar N. Kirke, James F. Troendle, Helen Burke, Marie Sutton, Lawrence C. Brody, John M. Scott, and James L. Mills – Maternal Vitamin B12 Status and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Population With High Neural Tube Defect Prevalence and No Folic Acid Fortification. Published in March 2009. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Vitamin B12 – Fact Sheet for Health Professionals – National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Anna Tymon, Lena Ciric, Peter Lingström, Egija Zaura, Caterina Signoretto, Monica Stauder, Adele Papetti, Michael Wilson, Jonathan Pratten, and David Spratt – In Vitro Assessment of Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) Extract for Its Antigingivitis Activity. Published in 2011. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • John Yuen, Sissi Wachtel-Galor, Iris F. F. Benzie, and John A. Buswell – Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Published in 2011. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Jiri Mlcek, Otakar Rop, and Tunde Jurikova – Beta-glucans in higher fungi and their health effects. Published on November 1, 2009. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]
  • Elle Goldberg, Shannon Kindilien, Melissa Roberts, and Deborah Cohen – Working Memory and Inadequate Micronutrient Consumption in Healthy Seniors. Published on July 22, 2019. Retrieved on June 24, 2021. [Source]

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