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Any issues with iron levels?

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  • Any issues with iron levels?

    I donated blood today, and as part of the process, had a hemoglobin test to determine if I could donate "double red" (just red cells instead of whole blood).

    Test came back at 13.0g/dL, and I needed 13.3 for double red. I was able to give whole blood, and did so without issue.

    Anyway, I checked out my hemoglobin level, and its borderline anemic. This seems a bit odd, as I consume about a pound and a half of spinach a week, typically a pound of chicken and beef/pork a day, and a half dozen eggs for breakfast is pretty average.

    For veggies, I've been sticking to broccoli, spinach and asparagus.

    Anyone else have low iron issues with PB?

  • #2
    Some people have absorption issues due to low HCl in the stomach or damage to the intestinal wall (from eating grains in the past and not knowing they were sensitive), so that could be the case. Try taking HCL or a bit of cider vinegar with meals to see if that helps.
    http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Copper is required for the formation of hemoglobin and from my experience a meat and veggies only diet doesn't provide enough of it unless organ meat like liver is included. That's my best guess.
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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      • #4
        I had this same issue last year and started a thread about the subject: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ght=iron+blood

        After doing some research, I found out that even though my diet was high in iron, my body wasn't processing and absorbing it properly because I was low in B vitamins and vitamin C. I began supplementing with a combination B/C vitamin and voila! The next time I donated blood I was just fine.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nasno View Post
          I donated blood today, and as part of the process, had a hemoglobin test to determine if I could donate "double red" (just red cells instead of whole blood).

          Test came back at 13.0g/dL, and I needed 13.3 for double red. I was able to give whole blood, and did so without issue.

          Anyway, I checked out my hemoglobin level, and its borderline anemic. This seems a bit odd, as I consume about a pound and a half of spinach a week, typically a pound of chicken and beef/pork a day, and a half dozen eggs for breakfast is pretty average.

          For veggies, I've been sticking to broccoli, spinach and asparagus.

          Anyone else have low iron issues with PB?
          So where are you iron rich foods? 1.5 lbs spinach per week offers up some, but as non-heme it needs to be combined with acidic foods to improve absorption. Where is the iron rich meat?

          K



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          • #6
            Originally posted by cillakat View Post
            So where are you iron rich foods? 1.5 lbs spinach per week offers up some, but as non-heme it needs to be combined with acidic foods to improve absorption. Where is the iron rich meat?

            K
            In the last week I've put down 3 pounds of steak and 2 pounds of dark meat chicken.
            I have been looking for an excuse to try liver and heart. Is this my chance?

            I do take a vitamin c supplement. Sounds like adding more B and some acidity could make a difference.

            Would a daily dose of cider vinegar via homemade dressing on a BAS be enough, or do I need to do vinegar shooters?

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            • #7
              Hmm, interesting, and I didn't know that about copper.
              It doesn't seem lilke it's an iron issue per se, so more likely to be an absorption thing. By the way, is the result of 13 an okay everyday result? Presumably they'll err on the side of caution for donating etc.
              Nothing to lose in trying the offal! Heart is nice, very similar to "normal" meat in that it is a muscle. I've tried liver several times and still haven't learned to like it...

              Stabby - what is a good source of copper then? Apart from chewing on some pennies

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              • #8
                I dunno, my impression is that there's some debate over the bioavailability of the iron in spinach due to it being bound by the oxalic acid. Oxalates also bind copper. Maybe swap out the spinach for some Asian greens and a bit more variety in the veg?

                Oh and you know to consume a little vitamin C with your iron sources (veg should do it? or maybe a little citrus?) and don't consume tea within about an hour of eating. The tannin or something hampers iron absorption dramatically.
                Last edited by Helen in Oz; 05-22-2010, 04:30 AM.

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                • #9
                  You might try beets to add a little iron into your diet. For example...I make a salad with canned beets and some Pecan Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing over mixed greens and other salad veggies...

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                  • #10
                    Have you been donating a lot recently? For about two years, I donated every 8 weeks, until the last time I went I was deferred for low hemoglobin. I think mine was in the 11 range. My ferritin (storage iron marker) was totally depleted. It has since gone back into the low normal range. I think I was just donating too frequently. This might be the case with you too, especially if you've been doing double-red apheresis.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nasno View Post
                      In the last week I've put down 3 pounds of steak and 2 pounds of dark meat chicken.
                      I have been looking for an excuse to try liver and heart. Is this my chance?
                      ahhh, I missed the beef bit. Read to fast and saw only chicken/pork. Anyhoo, the iron should be covered - the main cofactors for hemaglobin synthesis are:
                      B6, B12, folate and zinc

                      Theoretically, you should be fine on all of them but in a truly primal/evolutionary environment, the bulk of B complex vites would come from organ meats. Since it doesn't appear to be a part of your diet (definitely isn't mine), an excellent B complex might be in order.

                      My preference is Jigsaw Activated B because it's time released. That's nice as b vitamins can be fairly rapidly eliminated via the kidneys.. However, my beloved Jigsaw B also ungodly expensive. If I could take something cheaper, I probably would. My second choice for a B complex is Jarrow B right. It's not a terribly high dose B complex, so taking it twice a day is perfect.

                      Since you're eating so much meat, there really shouldn't be any reason to worry about adding acid/C to your non-heme iron sourced foods (veggies). This doesn't appear to be a question of absorption in your gut but rather an issue of insufficient manufacture due to a rate limiting co-cofactor.

                      While is could be copper, I find that even grain free, I get more than enough copper. Supplement copper if and only if you're very certain that copper is missing in your diet. Fitday, nutritiondata, and the like are good options for that.

                      It'd be very interesting to see serum iron, TIBC and ferritin to really determine what's going on.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin...s_and_function
                      Pyridoxal phosphate aids in the synthesis of heme and can also bind to two sites on hemoglobin to enhance the oxygen binding of hemoglobin[2].

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folate
                      Since folate deficiency limits cell division, erythropoiesis, production of red blood cells is hindered and

                      Copper:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper
                      "Because of its role in facilitating iron uptake, copper deficiency can often produce anemia-like symptoms. Conversely, an accumulation of copper in body tissues are believed to cause the symptoms of Wilson's disease in humans. Chronic copper depletion leads to abnormalities in metabolism of fats, high triglycerides, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fatty liver disease and poor melanin and dopamine synthesis causing depression and sunburn."



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                      • #12
                        I bought a pound of pork heart at the Farmer's Market this morning. My wife thinks I'm over reacting.

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