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Old 12-06-2004, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Guys should avoid iron supplements.. right?

I take vitamins on a daily basis, and occasionally I'll take an iron supplement.

It's my understanding that guys don't use or get rid of iron, and thus it builds up in their bloodstream and can cause heart related problems down the road.

Furthermore, I am of the understanding that women don't have to worry about this as much, and that as a guy, it's a good idea to donate blood occasionally, to help "clean out" the excess iron that may exist.

I noticed that the vitamins I am currently taking have 100% iron, and am wondering if I should stop taking them and instead opt for vitamins that don't have iron in them?
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Jimellow is offline  
Old 12-08-2004, 03:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Oregon
Unless there is some reason that iron has been reccomended to you, there isn't really a point for a man to take iron. The iron in a One-A-Day or Centrum vitamin supplement is sufficient for our needs. Women have regular blood loss so their iron needs are dramatically higher than ours. I think that taking a basic vitamin supplement is a good idea given modern eating habits and stress level, but iron isn't really a concern.

There are some negative consequences for taking excess iron, but again, there really isn't a need for a man in good health to take it. And they tend to be long term unless you are snacking on them like candy.
Baron Opal is offline  
Old 12-09-2004, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
 
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
Here's what Dr. Weill, everybody's favorite natural physician (and former psychedelics guru) has to say:

http://www.drweil.com/u/QA/QA74999/

Excess Iron: A Health Risk?

I’ve taken a vitamin supplement with iron for many years, but now I understand that men shouldn’t take iron. How can I get rid of the excess iron built up over the years?

Answer (Published 06/28/2002)

Not long ago, the conventional wisdom was that iron and iron tonics were the best way to avoid iron deficiency anemia and to counteract fatigue and low energy. If you’re old enough, you may remember radio and television commercials about the need for tonics to combat “tired blood.” In fact, most people get adequate iron from their diets – there’s plenty in red meat, beans, lentils, millet, chickpeas, dark, leafy greens, molasses, dried apricots, dried peaches, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, scallops, clams, oysters, soybeans, and many other foods.

Unless you’re a menstruating woman or have had a significant blood loss, you never should take an iron supplement except when advised to by a physician after blood tests show that you have iron deficiency anemia.

Of course, we all need iron to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment of blood. But iron is one of the few minerals we cannot eliminate, and accumulations in the body can rise to toxic levels. Iron is an oxidizing agent that can increase the risk of cancer and damage the heart and the arteries. High iron intake can be especially dangerous for persons with an inherited disease called hemochromatosis or iron overload disease, believed to affect as many as one million Americans. If you have any blood relatives with the disease, ask your physician about the screening test for iron overload, called the transferrin saturation test. Symptoms that could indicate iron overload include fatigue, heart palpitations, joint pain, non-specific stomach pain, impotence, and loss of menstrual period.

The only way to eliminate iron is to bleed (this is why menstruating women have more of a tendency to iron deficiency anemia than men or post-menopausal women). You certainly should stop taking supplements containing iron. Consider donating blood in order to eliminate some of your body’s iron stores.
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