Iron: Who Needs It , Who Doesn't, How and Why!
Dr. John H. Maher
drjmaher at cts.com
Wed Apr 11 12:04:24 EST 2001
In America iron deficiency is surpassingly common. However, it is mostly
among children, teenage girls, women with excessive menstrual flow and the
aged. Indeed among most mature healthy adults, especially men, iron excess
is the problem. This is because iron is a pro-oxidant as compared to an
anti-oxidant. Indeed, one reason to give blood is to lower your iron count
as an anti-aging measure! This is why in my online anti-aging course I
recommend an Iron Free multivitamin/mineral.
Let me mention why the very elderly tend to get anemic. Some common reasons
are poor appetite, loss of taste/smell, difficulty preparing foods, poor
digestion and poor dentition.
The best iron food group is meat. Animal heme-iron is much more absorbable
than vegetable non-heme iron. (Heme means blood which is what helps makes
red meat red.) Oysters, beef and chicken livers, beef kidney, shrimp,
herring , sardines, tuna , dark turkey and red meat, in that order, are the
Among the grains, bran flakes, wheat germ and bran and oats flakes are best.
Pumpkin and almonds are the best nuts and seeds.
Lima and pinto beans are quite high, as are spinach , parsley and peas.
Apricots, figs, watermelon, raisins and prunes are the best fruits.
Most vegetables are a poor source with carrots, asparagus and beets the best
of the rest of the group. Brewers yeast and blackstrap molasses are old
standbys for vegetarians.
Taking just 100 mg of Vit C with your meals can increase your iron uptake by
Tea, and worse coffee, can prevent 50% to 80% of the iron from being
In the elderly, supplementing with HCL (hydrochloric acid) is sometimes
needed in order for assimilation of iron to be possible, especially iron
pills. Many antacid medications interfere with iron digestion by making the
stomach "less acid". It should be noted here that "acid stomach " is almost
never a stomach that is too acid, rather a stomach lining that no longer
protects against acid like a healthy stomach does, or it is acid "refluxing"
up into the unprotected esophagus.
Your doctor can measure your iron status quite easily. However, early anemia
symptoms will show before a simple iron test shows anemia. Special iron
binding capacity tests, and iron transferring tests are more accurate. The
earliest detection will come from darkfield microscopy, a special microscope
used mostly by alternative practitioners.
Iron from a multivitamin can be very difficult to absorb, especially the
inexpensive brands. So if your fatigued and not eating wisely, don't count
on your One-A-Day to bail you out. Iron peptonate and glycinate are two of
more easily assimilated forms. They are also less likely to cause nausea and
constipation, two problems with iron pills.
TO LEARN MORE SEE
Dr. John H. Maher, A.B.A.A.H.P.
Editor, "Longevity News"
subscribe at rxforwellness.com
"Your FREE Anti-Aging Home Study Course On-Line!"
More information about the Ageing