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Wildflower
Mar 20th, 2006, 05:07 AM
When I take a B vitamin, I have so much energy I hardly even need sleep.

It's wonderful.

I can't find my bottle though, and it has been missing for awhile. I think I left it at my parents house when i was there at Christmas and they are out of state. I guess I should give in and buy a new one, but i worry because it has so much vitamin C that I will get too much, as my diet should be fairly high in vitamin C naturally and I take another supplement with it.

Why do they add vitamin C to everything???

DoveInGreyClothing
Mar 27th, 2006, 01:19 PM
They add vitamin C because it helps absorbtion.

Tigerlily
Mar 27th, 2006, 05:05 PM
When I take a B vitamin, I have so much energy I hardly even need sleep.

It's wonderful.

I can't find my bottle though, and it has been missing for awhile. I think I left it at my parents house when i was there at Christmas and they are out of state. I guess I should give in and buy a new one, but i worry because it has so much vitamin C that I will get too much, as my diet should be fairly high in vitamin C naturally and I take another supplement with it.

Why do they add vitamin C to everything???

That's weird. B vitamins never do that to me. :( I wish they did.

qwaychou
Apr 11th, 2006, 08:25 AM
I didn't want to start a new thread an spam the board, and i hope these tips will help me. I'm anaemic becuase of various surgeries I've had causing me to have very poor iron absorption, and the last time my dr. prescribed the iron supps, for me they were fine. But this time, they give me horrible migranes. I've been trrying to get ahold of him about it for 2 weeks, but no call back yet. Well, yesterday, i had an episode where I nearly colapsed, I was sweaty, and shaky, and very tired.

when the dr's office opens today, i will call again, but I am also going to make a point to eat more iron rich vegan foods.
Thanks for the tips!

DoveInGreyClothing
Apr 11th, 2006, 12:23 PM
I was a bit like that, not so severe when I started taking my supplements too quaychou, but it settled down after a few weeks. Apparently it's a common side effect though, I was told to continue with the tablets and I'd get over the side effects to some degree. Part of that is because your iron stores take a while to recover too, apparently.

qwaychou
Apr 15th, 2006, 03:17 AM
Well, I went to the Dr, and my episode was caused by my eating too many carbs. My iron is still very low, and I went on the hunt for a vegan, liquid iron supp. I saw the link for FerroGreen, but I am not sure if it's sold in the states.
But, at any rate, the shaky, sweaty, weak and dizzy thing was a insulin thing, I guess. I ate too much potaties without anything else, and with all that starch, my insulin, rocketed, then crashed. So, now I just make sure that I eat some of everything at each meal, some protien(mmm...beans), some carbs, and some veggies.

auntierozzi
Sep 21st, 2006, 08:27 AM
Hello,
I have just started drinking molasses tea. Well, just a big spoon full in hot water instead of tea in order to try and boost the amount of iron I have. I have been anaemic in the past while still eating meat and am determined to prove to my mother (!!) that a vegan diet will look after me better than eating animal products.
I would be interested to know how you make sure that you have enough iron everyday.
Best wishes,
Rosalind

Korn
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:16 AM
Hi,

there's more info here:

The Vegan Society about iron (http://www.vegansociety.com/html/food/nutrition/iron.php)

VNV about iron: Look here (http://www.vnv.org.au/Nutrition/Iron.htm) and here (http://www.vnv.org.au/Nutrients.htm#Iron).

herbwormwood
Sep 22nd, 2006, 02:00 PM
Iron is more important for women than men, as a rule. Women have varying needs for iron. Women need more iron if they have heavy or long lasting periods, or have had a baby recently or are pregnant.

nervine
Sep 22nd, 2006, 06:24 PM
I eat raw spinach every day. Dark chocolate contains lots of iron too but no vit C so eat it after a meal or so.

Risker
Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:20 PM
You could always lick an iron key, not the tastiest way to get your daily intake of iron though.

Wish
Sep 26th, 2006, 06:52 PM
I gave blood today for the first time since going vegan and I was worried my iron was going to be too low, but it was lovely.

And I drink a lot of coffee (which is supposed to inhibit absorption) and don't pay particular attention to iron-rich foods in my diet. So I was pretty pleased. But I hope I don't get complacent about it.

auntierozzi
Sep 26th, 2006, 07:52 PM
Thanks for all your advice about iron. I have a list of the best foods stuck to the fridge and am making sure that we all have enough. We have just starting eating our first crop of spinach...(Anyway know any non-violent ways to shoo of those slugs?)

Not starting licking my keys yet ...:-)

Rosalind

eve
Sep 28th, 2006, 08:07 AM
I've not heard of slugs going for spinach, they generally choose cabbage as it is sweeter :)

Bic
Dec 28th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Back in October I donated blood for the first time (yay!) but, I was nearly turned away for having too little iron in my blood. They took two test samples of my blood: the first was 37 (I think ppm?) - too low; the second was 38 - the minimum.

Although I did pass and was able to give blood, they informed me that with every donation I'll experience a dip in iron and being female, keeping my iron at an acceptable level for donation would be harder.

I'm not defiecient in iron - just at the low end of average which they can't accept because giving a pint of blood may push me into deficiency.

I was given a supplement by my mother, but upon closer inspection I found animal by-products (something from milk, I'd have to get the bottle to say what it was) and the only food I can think of is spinach.
I'd perfer not to take another supplement simply because I'm on enough pills as it is with a recent [minor] surgury - so any help with foods I can add into my diet to help boost my iron count would be appereciated. Being able to donate is quite important to me and I'd hate to lose my next oppurtunity just because I haven't been taking proper care of myself. :(

Roxy
Dec 28th, 2006, 05:43 AM
Hi Bic

Many forum members also donate blood on a regular basis. In this (http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1192&highlight=blood) thread, there's quite a bit of discussion about donating blood and iron levels.

I hope you find this helpful :)

Tikkin
Jan 16th, 2007, 08:30 AM
I think I have an iron deficiency. I have a lot of the symptoms at the moment. Every morning I have bad stomach pains, I get loads of headaches and dizzines, feel more depressed than usual, have had weakness in arms and legs etc.

So what is the best way to combat this? Anyone else had this problem? I've read that iron is easily absorbed from foods such as red meat and eggs and so on, but not absorbed so well from vegetables/nuts/beans. I'm going to get an Iron and vitmain C supplement today - but my worry with that is it apparently causes constipation? Has anyone else been through this - if so, how did you overcome it?

Many thanks for any replies.

twinkle
Jan 16th, 2007, 08:34 AM
Is constipation normally a problem for you? Since being vegan I have never suffered from it, I think we generally get too much roughage for it to be an issue. I sometimes take a multivitamin which includes iron - can't say I've noticed any problems.

I think dried fruit is meant to be good for iron as well as the other things you've mentioned. I'm sure there must be threads on here about good sources of iron. I'm just about to go to bed though, so I can't search at the moment :)

fiamma
Jan 16th, 2007, 08:40 AM
You say you "think" you have an iron deficiency; I would get yourself checked out by a doctor to make sure your symptoms are caused by this and not something else.

Good sources of iron (see the Vegan Society (http://www.vegansociety.com/html/food/nutrition/iron.php) website) are:

"Dried fruits, whole grains (including wholemeal bread), nuts, green leafy vegetables, seeds and pulses. Other foods rich in iron but which are usually eaten in smaller amounts include soya flour, parsley, watercress, black molasses and edible seaweeds".

According to the site, the use of ironware when cooking foods also contributes to dietary intake. One of the other members on here recommends molasses dissolved in hot water, never tried it myself though! Another good source, as I discovered yesterday, is the grain amaranth. It is also a good idea to consume Vitamin C at the same time as your iron source, this increases absorption. So you could drink a glass of orange juice with your meals, for example. Coffee and tea, on the other hand, inhibit iron absorption.

Do use the search button, though, as you will find other threads on this topic.

Korn
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:03 AM
I merged this thread with one of the other threads about iron.

Tikkin, I agree with Fiamma, and would check if you actually have a deficiency, but here's some useful info from the an article called Iron in the Vegan Diet (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#r2) by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. (from vrg.org):


Some might expect that since the vegan diet contains a form of iron that is not that well absorbed, vegans might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. However, surveys of vegans have found that iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population although vegans tend to have lower iron stores .

The reason for the satisfactory iron status of many vegans may be that commonly eaten foods are high in iron, as Table 1 (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table1) shows. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal-derived foods. This concept is illustrated in Table 2 (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table2). For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach.

Another reason for the satisfactory iron status of vegans is that vegan diets are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C acts to markedly increase absorption of non-heme iron. Adding a vitamin C source to a meal increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron.

Fortunately, many vegetables, such as broccoli and bok choy, which are high in iron, are also high in vitamin C so that the iron in these foods is very well absorbed. Commonly eaten combinations, such as beans and tomato sauce or stir-fried tofu and broccoli, also result in generous levels of iron absorption.

It is easy to obtain iron on a vegan diet. Table 3 (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table3) shows several menus that would meet the RDA for iron.

Both calcium and tannins (found in tea and coffee) reduce iron absorption. Tea, coffee, and calcium supplements should be used several hours before a meal that is high in iron.

Some people have problems with their digestion if they take certain types of/too much iron supplementation, but getting the iron you need from vegan food isn't a problem.

fiamma
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:13 AM
Thanks for that info, Korn, that's really useful. My last blood tests showed slight anaemia, but my doctor advised me against supplementation and as you say, getting enough iron shouldn't be a problem on a vegan diet if you're eating the right things. I know I don't eat enough iron rich foods which is where my anaemia comes from, but I'd prefer not to supplement, so I'm going to try and increase my intake of these things.

Korn
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:29 AM
My last blood tests showed slight anaemia, but my doctor advised me against supplementation and as you say, getting enough iron shouldn't be a problem on a vegan diet if you're eating the right things.

Good luck with your anemia - and be glad that you eat vegan! We avoid dairy products, which are very low in iron and may - according to various sources - inhibit iron intake.

fiamma
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:59 AM
Thanks Korn :) I appreciate all your help. Can you give me more info on dairy inhibiting iron intake?

Korn
Jan 16th, 2007, 11:01 AM
A few links:

Calcium, dairy foods and tea generally had a negative association with most measures of iron status. http://193.60.82.70:1024/FMPro?-db=web%5fpubl.fp6&-format=webpubldetail.html&-sortfield=year&-sortorder=descend&Author=doyle&Year=1999&-recid=23&-find=



Other inhibitors of iron absorption include the common preservative EDTA, tannic acids in tea, coffee (aggravated by the addition of milk), and calcium from dairy products. The addition of modest amounts of milk or cheese to a meal of pizza or hamburger has been shown to reduce iron absorption by 50-60%. http://www.veg.ca/newsletr/janfeb97/iron.html



The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below one year of age not be given whole cow’s milk, as iron deficiency is more likely on a dairy-rich diet. Cow’s milk products are very low in iron. If they become a major part of one’s diet, iron deficiency is more likely. (Source: Pennington JAT. Bowes and Churches Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, 17th ed. New York: Lippincott, 1998.) http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/dairy.html


However, absorption can also be slowed down by tannins in tea and coffee, phytates in bran and other wholegrains, oxalic acid in spinach, chard, berries, chocolate and tea and so these are best avoided when eating iron-rich foods (2, 10). Dairy and calcium can have a similar negative effect (Sources: Department of Health, 41: Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the UK, Department of Health, First Edition, Ch 28, p 161-167 and L Hallberg et al, 1991, Calcium: effect of different amounts on non-heme and heme iron absorption in humans, Am J Clin Nutr, 53, p 112-119). From Why Plant Iron is Best (http://www.vegetarian.org.uk/factsheets/iron.html)



Iron deficiency and anaemia
Although it is commonly believed that vegetarians and vegans will be more likely to suffer from iron deficiency and anaemia, studies have in actual fact shown that they are no more likely than anyone else (studies show that many people suffer from iron deficiency - including meat eaters). Iron from meat is more easily absorbed by the body than from vegetable sources but this is not always beneficial. Storing too much iron in the body can lead to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer. Although storage of animal iron is generally the same, vegetable iron absorption reduces as the body stores increase so over-doing it is unlikely.

Maintaining sufficient stores of iron is of course essential and certain plant foods can decrease and enhance absorption. Pytates from seeds and grains, and polyphenols from tea and coffee can reduce vegetable iron absorption but having vitamin C-rich foods with iron-rich foods can help overcome this. Reviews of vegan diets have shown them to be on average 3-5 times higher in vitamin C intake. Soya and cows milk protein and eggs can also inhibit vegetable iron absorption so at times of increased need (e.g. in women with heavy periods or in pregnancy) it may help to reduce these in the diet. Calcium can also inhibit iron absorption so if you need to top up your iron and also your calcium stores, taking supplements separately, e.g. having calcium before bed can help keep both of these nutrients maximised. http://www.foodsforlife.org.uk/nutrition/vegetarian-vegan-nutrition.html



Foods that inhibit iron absorption

Some foods should be avoided in large quantities, especially at meal times :

Tea and coffee (contains tannins)
Spinach and cocoa (contains oxalates - Popeye got it wrong !)
Whole grains and bran products (high in phytates)
Egg yolks (contains phosvitin)
Dairy products (calcium)http://www.vegsoc.org.nz/v2_fctsht_nutri_iron.html


Iron Absorption Inhibitors

· Fiber (whole grains), calcium (dairy products) and zinc (dark leafy greens) in foods like eggs and spinach can tie up iron and decrease absorption. Eating Vitamin C-rich foods can help reverse these effects.

· Avoid drinking tea or coffee with meals as the tannins in them can decrease the amount of iron absorbed from foods. Drink coffee and tea an hour or two before eating foods high in iron.

Some of these quotes are from pro-vegetarian/pro-vegan sites, and just like pro-meat eaters, enthusiastic plant eaters sometimes have a tendency to exaggerate the good news and not mention less positive info... here's (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=retrieve&db=pubmed&list_uids=1782927&dopt=Abstract) a study that confirm that dairy products reduce iron intake, but that the effect of one glass of low-fat skimmed milk or plain yoghurt doesn't have much effect, but it's common knowledge that too much calcium inhibits iron intake.


There is evidence that calcium from supplements and dairy foods may inhibit iron absorption, but it has been very difficult to distinguish between the effects of calcium on iron absorption versus other inhibitory factors such as phytate. (Source:Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001.)

A few other things to consider (heme = iron from animals):


The higher contents of iron (heme) in certain tissues such as heart could serve as a biological base for iron toxicity on free radical-mediated tissue damage, including formation of nitrotyrosine http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/100/10/5712


During the course of the 20-year study, 4,599 women developed diabetes. Study results, published in Diabetes Care, report that non-heme iron—which comes from plant foods—and iron from supplements didn't raise the risk of diabetes; however, heme iron—which comes from animal products like red meat—greatly increased the risk. Women who ate the most heme iron increased their risk of developing diabetes by as much as 28%. Although the main dietary source of heme iron is red meat, the study found that heme from poultry and fish also increased diabetes risk.http://exchange.healthwell.com/news.cfm?news=1746


The likely liability in iron nutriture in free-living, elderly white Americans eating a Western diet is high iron stores, not iron deficiency. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8327020&query_hl=2

fiamma
Jan 16th, 2007, 11:55 AM
I'm confused. One source you quoted says:

"The reason for the satisfactory iron status of many vegans may be that commonly eaten foods are high in iron, as Table 1 (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table1) shows. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal-derived foods. This concept is illustrated in Table 2 (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table2). For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach."

This would seem to suggest that spinach is a good source of iron, or is it saying that steak is a poor one?

Then the other sources seem to suggest that spinach is a poor source of iron, something I have admittedly already read from numerous sources. But is it just a poor source, or does it inhibit iron intake? Your sources would seem to suggest the latter, so is spinach something we should actually be avoiding? :confused: :eek: :(