Is Extra Iron in My Multi-Vitamins Good?
Who says you can never get too much of a good thing? With iron supplementation you may be doing just that. Iron is essential to health and if iron levels become too low you will develop iron deficiency anemia. While there is some evidence that some people with fatigue may be helped with extra iron, most people do not want to take excessive iron.
Most of our iron comes from our diet. Foods that are rich in iron include beef, liver and lamb. Other foods such as pork, chicken, fish and beans also have moderate levels of iron. Given a good and healthy diet most people should get adequate levels of iron from their diet alone.
However when iron levels are too high they can contribute to heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We want to stay away from an excess intake of iron.
You need to be clear as to your goals when taking dietary supplements. When you have a healthy diet you don’t need to add extra iron. Males should be careful as hemochromatosis – a disease of excess iron - is more common in men than women. For people suffering from hemochromatosis excess iron can be deadly.
Women who are menstruating may consider adding the small amount of iron that is in the multi-vitamin due to the fact they are losing a certain amount of blood every month. The extra iron helps to replace the amount lost during menstruation.
If you are iron deficient your doctor will want to determine if you are not getting enough in your diet or if you may be losing blood from your body. Many people who are iron deficient lose blood through the stool. Determining what is causing any stool bleeding is essential for your health. Often times we notice that people who are gluten sensitive have difficulties absorbing iron from the diet and this may also cause their deficiency.
- Most people on healthy diet
- Anyone with normal iron levels
- Anyone with hemochromatosis
- Anyone with iron deficiency anemia
- Women who are menstruating
- Absorption issues with iron such as gluten sensitive
Regarding iron, too much of a good thing is not good for you. So please evaluate your supplement program and make sure you aren’t getting too much iron.