How to increase ferritin levels?

This question is about Nutrition

Sarah Achleithner

You can increase ferritin levels with oral iron supplements, but intravenous iron may be used as a treatment in severe cases of anemia [





Depending on the severity of low ferritin levels, it can take anywhere from three to six months with a daily dose of 100 - 200 mg/day of elemental iron to replenish your iron stores [


]. Additionally, a multivitamin with 18 mg/iron per day can also be beneficial for mild to moderate iron deficiency. 

While it may take time to replenish iron stores, deficiency symptoms may ease within a week or month of supplementation.

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Here are some other nutrition suggestions for how to increase ferritin levels.

  • Eat more lean meat. Research has shown that eating lean meat once per day can increase ferritin levels, so if you choose to eat meat, it’s encouraged to eat a variety of red and lean meats [



  • Iron + vitamin C. Since vitamin C increases the absorption of non heme iron, try to consume both of them together during meals. For example, some lemon juice drizzled over leafy greens will increase the iron amount you absorb.

  • Soak, sprout, and ferment. Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting grains and legumes improve iron absorption by lowering the amount of phytates (an iron inhibitor) naturally present in these foods [



  • Cooking in a cast-iron pan. Research shows that using cast-iron cookware may increase the iron content in your food by up to 16% [



  • Consume copper-rich foods. You can increase your ferritin levels by consuming more copper-rich foods, like shellfish, liver, fatty fish, oysters, spirulina, shiitake mushrooms, lobster, and dark chocolate.

  • Avoid coffee, tea or milk near meals. Avoid caffeinated beverages or milk while eating iron-rich meals, and have them between eating times instead. 

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  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Iron-deficiency anemia. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. 

  2. professional, C. C. medical. (n.d.). Iron supplements for anemia (ferrous sulfate): Types, benefits & side effects. Cleveland Clinic. 

  3. Stoffel, N. U., von Siebenthal, H. K., Moretti, D., & Zimmermann, M. B. (2020). Oral iron supplementation in iron-deficient women: How much and how often? Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 75, 100865. 

  4. Herran, O. F., Bermúdez, J. N., & Del Pilar Zea, M. (2020). Red meat and egg intake and serum ferritin concentrations in Colombian children: results of a population survey, ENSIN-2015. Journal of nutritional science, 9, e12.


  5. Gupta, R. K., Gangoliya, S. S., & Singh, N. K. (2015). Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. Journal of food science and technology, 52(2), 676–684.


  6. Kulkarni, S. A., Ekbote, V. H., Sonawane, A., Jeyakumar, A., Chiplonkar, S. A., & Khadilkar, A. V. (2013). Beneficial effect of iron pot cooking on iron status. Indian journal of pediatrics, 80(12), 985–989.

Here are some other nutrition suggestions for how to increase ferritin levels.