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 Post subject: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:01 pm 
Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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I stopped at Food Fight today to grab some multivitamins, and the only ones they had were iron free. It seems like something you'd want in a multi, but I've noticed a lot of veg*n brands are iron free. Does anyone know why this is a thing?

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:17 pm 
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If you take iron with calcium you won't absorb the iron, and I think there are other things like that too? So it makes sense to take iron separately. Also it can upset your stomach and/or constipate you so if you're not deficient it makes sense not to take it?

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:18 pm 
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I don't know about why vegan ones would be iron free, but I know iron in vitamins is the most common reason people get sick from their vitamins, apparently it's not easy on the stomach.


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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:21 pm 
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If I weren't super anemic I would never ever take iron because my body has a really hard time tolerating it. As it is I can only take certain forms, only with food, and definitely not as much as I should be taking to be not deficient anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Some docs say you shouldn't take iron unless you've been diagnosed as deficient, and it's possible to have too much iron in your system. Lots of non-menstruating people, in particular, may not need it. I know Deva's multi comes both ways.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Men and post-menopausal women aren't supposed to supplement iron without a doctor's supervision, iron free multivitamins might be marketed for them.


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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:30 pm 
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Iron supplements can be really hard on your digestive system, so some people skip added iron for that reason.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:31 pm 
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strawberryrock wrote:
If you take iron with calcium you won't absorb the iron, and I think there are other things like that too? So it makes sense to take iron separately. Also it can upset your stomach and/or constipate you so if you're not deficient it makes sense not to take it?


Are you sure? I just googled this and got mixed results.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:37 pm 
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Cool! I never managed to find an iron free multivitamin over here. I can't tolerate it and my haemoglobin levels are on the high side of normal. Not sure if I have the hemachromatosis gene but it is in the family so I don't want to be taking in unnecessary iron.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:40 pm 
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Yeah, my doctor told me to take my daily multivitamins and calcium + vit D in the morning and then take iron in the evening to avoid the iron and calcium to not work together, as the calcium inhibits the absorption on iron. I think it's only the calcium citrate and the calcium phosphate versions that inhibits the absorption? And only at certain amounts for both the iron and the calcium. Either way, I guess it's just easier to tell people to take them at different times, instead of asking them to understand the difference between types and amounts.

Eta: http://www.idpas.org/pdf/047CalciumSupplementation.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:42 pm 
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Deva do an iron free multi Daisychain.


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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:43 pm 
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lutin wrote:
strawberryrock wrote:
If you take iron with calcium you won't absorb the iron, and I think there are other things like that too? So it makes sense to take iron separately. Also it can upset your stomach and/or constipate you so if you're not deficient it makes sense not to take it?


Are you sure? I just googled this and got mixed results.


Pretty reputable sources think so, like The Mayo Clinic, but also a bunch of other things.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplem ... g-20070148

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:55 pm 
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yeah, that's definitely true. also the stomach/constipation issues.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Hey, thanks, guys! I've always been on the low end of the iron spectrum, so doctors have pretty consistently told me it's a decent idea to take supplements. I ended up buying the iron-free multis, so I guess I'll get some iron supplements and take those at a different time of day.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:09 pm 
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also, try not to take the iron supplements with tea or coffee. they can inhibit absorption, too.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:13 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
also, try not to take the iron supplements with tea or coffee. they can inhibit absorption, too.

When I was pregnant my doctor told me to take the iron with orange juice because vitamin c helps it absorb better or something? Does it really make a difference?

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:14 pm 
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yeah, vit c boosts iron absorption. i'm not necessarily sure that you'd notice it, but if you were deficient then every little bit counts.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:17 pm 
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Interesting! Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:30 pm 
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lutin wrote:
strawberryrock wrote:
If you take iron with calcium you won't absorb the iron, and I think there are other things like that too? So it makes sense to take iron separately. Also it can upset your stomach and/or constipate you so if you're not deficient it makes sense not to take it?


Are you sure? I just googled this and got mixed results.


I even saw this happen to me, pretty dramatically. I was doing ok maintaining my iron with Floradix until I started having soy lattes right away. In a three month period I dropped from ok to danger zone again and we figured the calcium thing out. I started waiting the few hours in between and was ok again.

Now, I can't take any kind of iron supplement because of my ulcer, so I'm just trying not to end up in the hospital again between now and the summer when I'll have time to get infusions again. (Infusions are not fun, or at least not for me since I react badly too them. I'd need ~6 days off work which would be a great way of being fired.)

Being dependent on iron supplements is the worst.

ETA: most protein supplements seem to either contain calcium or iron, so that's probably a great option for anyone needing good vitamin boosts.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Interesting! I've never seen a multi without iron. I think it would be good for me - iron levels always good, but I worry about calcium. Or is it just calcium that inhibits iron absorption, not the other way around?

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:53 am 
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Children's vitamins are normally without iron because that way it's not really a huge deal if they decide to eat the whole bottle one day.

If you're having trouble finding one with iron, maybe try prenatals?


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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:16 am 
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My recent blood test showed that my iron was low so the doc told me to take a supplement in the morning with orange juice. I've had one re-test so far and its working. My levels have come up but aren't totally perfect, so I'm continuing the routine for another 3 months. Iron with OJ works! Lots of chili is helping too. Apparently tomatoes and kidney beans together do wonders for raising iron levels.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:37 am 
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I should try that, GraciaKai. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:32 am 
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I think the primary reason there are iron-free multis is because of the recommendation that people not take iron unless they're actually deficient. There isn't a good way to get iron OUT of the body besides bleeding or otherwise destroying blood cells (which sometimes happens if you do a lot of high impact exercise like running), so it's easy to wind up with way too much if you don't menstruate. So if you want iron-free - look for multis directed at men, older women, and kids. And if you want iron-loaded, look for the ones directed at women who are still menstruating.

If you're borderline deficient chronically, it might make sense to just take a prenatal vitamin - it has the regular RDA of most things (plus more folic acid, which isn't going to hurt you), but has almost two times the RDA for iron and lots of people recommend that much for all vegan women, pregnant or not, because non-heme iron isn't absorbed quite as well. I like the Rainbow Light brand prenatals. I've also done high dose iron supplements and really like the "Slow FE" brand (and the Walgreen's generic of the same) - no digestive issues at all and I think it has 40 something grams of iron in a pill.

What I really don't understand is why they put calcium in multivitamins at all. It's always a very small amount, since calcium is so bulky you can't fit much into an easy to swallow pill, and if you really need to supplement calcium you will need to take a straight-up calcium supplement anyway, so what's the point?


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 Post subject: Re: What's the deal with iron-free multivitamins?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:42 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
also, try not to take the iron supplements with tea or coffee. they can inhibit absorption, too.


Oh! I had no idea. No more after dinner tea then! Thanks.

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