Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Anemia & Iron Rich Foods

Here are some links to pages with information about iron rich foods and some others about anemia generally. B vitamins are also important in healty blood production so make sure you eat a balanced diet with enough B vitamins.

Rules about iron include - take it with vitamin C, don't overcook foods (steaming is best), antacids, calcium (dairy products) and caffeine all block absorption so definately don't take at the same time. Iron from red meat and liver (heme iron) is more easily absorbed than from plant sources (non-heme) though taking non-heme foods at the same time as heme foods can improve iron absorption.

Here's a great link about iron absorption

Also, since some of the iron supplements are hard on people's stomachs I though I would share what I'm taking which hasn't caused me any difficulty (although if you are severely anemic this probably isn't strong enough) -- Nutrition Now Chewable Iron (25 mg of elemental iron per tab -- though they recently changed their formulation to ferric pyrophosphate and I don't recommend it anymore. Others I've met online have had good luck with Slow FE or Floradix.

"Which forms of supplemental iron are best?
All iron supplements are not the same. Ferrous iron (e.g. ferrous sulfate) is much better absorbed than ferric iron (e.g. ferric citrate).13 14 The most common form of iron supplement is ferrous sulfate, but it is known to produce intestinal side effects (such as constipation, nausea, and bloating) in many users. Some forms of ferrous sulfate are enteric-coated to delay tablet dissolving and prevent some side effects,16 but enteric-coated iron may not absorb as well as iron from standard supplements. Other forms of iron supplements, such as ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, heme iron concentrate, and iron glycine amino acid chelate are readily absorbed and less likely to cause intestinal side effects."

From: Vitacost's Iron Information page

What foods contain high amounts of iron?

Eat Iron-Rich Foods

Iron: Vegan Society

Menorrhagia Diet


How much iron do certain foods contain?

Iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy: a short account

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Balance - explains iron intake, losses and affects of iron
deficiency in women

Anemia and Fatigue

Iron Deficiency

and kind of unrelated but interesting information:

Workshop on Maintaining Iron Balance in Women Blood Donors of Child-Bearing Age

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