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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Supplements for Anemia or Iron Deficiency

Older adults may need supplements

Up to one-third of older adults produce inadequate amounts of stomach acid and can no longer properly absorb B12 from food. People over 50 may have to meet their B12 need by consuming food fortified with B12 or by taking a supplement containing B12. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products and strict vegetarians are at risk and should consume fortified foods and/or take a supplement.

Deficiency of folate, another B vitamin, can also cause anemia in pregnant women (who need extra folate for the developing fetus), in alcoholics, and in elderly people.

Symptoms of Anemia

How much iron do you need?

The human body recycles iron to make new red blood cells. Even co, the body loses an average of 1mg for men and 1.5mg for women during reproductive years. The body absorbs only a small percentage of dietary iron, so the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) calls for consuming more than what is lost: 8mg a day for men and postmenopausal women; 18mg for women under 50; 27mg for pregnant women.


Do not take iron supplements unless you have made a blood test to confirm an iron deficiency. Excess iron can be dangerous. It is estimated that as much as 10% of the population suffers from undiagnosed hemochromatosis, or “iron overload” disease. For these people, iron supplements can have catastrophic results.

Do one simple thing

Cook tomatoes and other acidic foods in iron pots that add large amounts of iron to food. Four ounces of tomato sauce cooked in a regular pot provide 0.7mg of iron; cooking it in a iron pot adds 5mg – ironware may discolor food, but taste is unaffected.

Watch out for natural compounds in tea, called Tannins

They can bind with iron and make it unavailable for absorption. It is best to drink your between meals rather than during. Oxalates found in spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, and chocolate as well as phytates found in nuts, some greens and bran cereals also can bind with iron and prevent the body from using it.

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