What are normal ferritin levels by age?

This question is about Nutrition

Sarah Achleithner

The normal ferritin levels by age are [



  • Newborns: 25 to 200 ng/mL

  • 1 month old: 200 to 600 ng/mL

  • 2 to 5 months old: 50 to 200 ng/mL

  • Children 6 months to 15 years: 7 to 140 ng/mL

  • Adult males: 24 to 336 ng/mL 

  • Adult females: 24 to 307 ng/mL

Since ferritin levels can vary so much between age groups and gender, it can be difficult to determine dangerously low ferritin levels. However, the WHO defines low ferritin levels as <15 μg/L for adults and <12 μg/L for children [



How much iron per day?

Just like with ferritin, how much iron per day varies greatly between men and women, as well as by age. The RDA for adults is as follows [3]:

  • Women 19 to 50 years old: 18 mg

  • Women 51 years old and above: 8 mg

  • Pregnant and lactating women: 27 mg and 9 mg, respectively

  • Men and non-menstruating women: 8 mg

  • Vegetarians: 1.8 times the RDA to compensate for reduced iron bioavailability and absorption [4].

However, your personal needs may differ, especially if you have a condition that impairs iron absorption, like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or hemochromatosis. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine how much iron is right for you.

Iron pills


  1. Ferritin (blood). University of Rochester Medical Center. (n.d.). https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=ferritin_blood 

  2. Al-Naseem, A., Sallam, A., Choudhury, S., & Thachil, J. (2021). Iron deficiency without anaemia: a diagnosis that matters. Clinical medicine (London, England), 21(2), 107–113.



  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Office of dietary supplements - iron. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/

  4. MediLexicon International. (n.d.-b). Iron: Recommended intake, benefits, and Food Sources. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287228