Posting a new thread so more people may see it. I've also dealt with mild anemia and am fortunate to have a good friend who is an RD (registered dietician) and really knows her stuff! Here's what she's taught me:
- many women are mildly deficient in iron without qualifying as "anemic" -- anemia is considered a real medical problem, but you can be deficient without being anemic and still suffer symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, weakness, and depression.
- men are unlikely to have iron deficiency or anemia, unless they are endurance athletes or very serious bodybuilders.
- calcium interferes with the absorption of iron, so it's important to take your supplements without anything that has calcium -- including multi-vitamins, which often combine the two.
- Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron, so it's a good idea to combine iron with Vitamin C.
- There are two kinds of iron, heme (from animals) and non-heme (from plants). Non-heme (plant-based) iron is much harder for the body to absorb, so even if you eat a huge heap of spinach, you probably won't get very much iron. Meat and beans are better food sources of iron.
- Cooking in cast-iron pots & pans is a good way to get iron into your food.
- Since your body has a tough time absorbing iron, and iron absorption can be blocked by a variety of things, the best way to take an iron supplement is at night before you go to bed, with vitamin C.
- Too much iron can cause stomach problems and constipation, so you don't need a mega-dose supplement.
Hope this helps! Take your iron! :-)
So...what can you say about B12 vitamin? I have a friend who goes for a monthly (or more if needed) b12 shot at her doc's. When it's "time" she is terribly lethargic... barely able to roll outta bed. She says for a few weeks after the shot she's best kind again. I wonder if the lack of RED meat could cause the same effect on BFLers? Not sure where else B12 is derived from.
Meat, eggs and other animal products have B12. If your friend is having B12 injections, she probably has a serious medical condition. Most of us can get plenty of B vitamins from diet (unless elder, alcoholic, or some diseases).
Or a long-term vegan.
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