Iron Absorption

Iron Absorption

Iron absorption is optimal when iron supplements are taken on an empty stomach and not with food.  It has been proven that certain foods can greatly inhibit the absorption of iron by as much as 1/3 to 1/2 compared to that on an empty stomach. It is therefore recommended that you take the supplements either one hour before or two hours after meal time with a glass of water or juice (citric). However, if you are experiencing difficulties taking iron supplements on an empty stomach because of nausea, your healthcare provider may recommend that you take your supplements with a plain piece of toast or some saltine crackers. Your healthcare provider may even recommend that you reduce the dosing (number of times you take the pill per day) of your iron supplement to try and relieve the nausea. It has always been preferred to take iron in the fasting state, even if the dose must be reduced to relieve the side effects.

FOOD PRODUCTS THAT INTERFERE OR INHIBIT IRON ABSORPTION

  • TEA MILK DIETARY FIBER (BRAN)
  • COFFEE EGGS LEGUMES (PEAS AND BEANS)
  • SODA POP      
  • PROTEIN
  • CAFFEINE PRODUCTS

Certain vitamin supplements and medications can also greatly reduce or inhibit the absorption of iron. These include prenatal vitamins, antacids, anti-inflammatory agents and some antibiotics. ( see below). In order to insure optimal iron absorption it is suggested that you do not take iron supplements together with any vitamins or medications. This will also prevent the iron supplement from reducing the therapeutic effectiveness of your medication and /or vitamins. It is usually recommended that you separate taking your iron supplements from other medications or vitamins by at least 2 hours before or after.

VITAMINS AND MEDICATION THER INTERFERE OR INHIBITS IRON ABSORPTION

  • ANTACIDS calcium
  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AGENTS phosphate
  • CHLORAMPHENICOL copper
  • DEFEROXZINE magnesium
  • PENICELLAMINE cadmium
  • TETRACYCLINES cobalt
  • SULFANAMIDES manganese
  • RANDITIN aluminum
  • QUINIDINE

IRON; THE TOP PICKS

  • Cereals
  • Beef Liver, Cooked Beef Sirloin, Cooked
  • Pork Loin, Lean Cooked
  • Greens, Beans, Veggies Spinach, Cooked
  • Peas, Frozen, Cooked
  • Garbanza Beans, Cooked Soybeans, Cooked
  • Potato Baked
  • White Beans, Cooked Lima Beans, Baby, Frozen, Cooked
  • Prune Juice, Canned
  • Figs, Dried
  • Apricots, Dried
  • Dates, Dried
  • Strawberries, Fresh
  • Hamburger, 97% Fat Free