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Old 04-23-2020, 12:05 PM   #1
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More on iron supplements

I read a few articles about how dangerous iron supplements can be, especially to male senior citizens. I checked my multivitamin and sure enough it contained iron. In my infinite wisdom, I threw it out, and purchased a no-iron formula. As a side note, my past blood tests have always beenn fine. Three months after I made the switch, I took a routine blood test. You guessed it, it came back "anemic". I called a hematologist friend of mine in NYC and asked his advice. He explained that he has observed that males (any age) who work out in the gym or run more than four times a week, for some reason, have a tendency to run anemic. He did not know why, he simply observed it in his patients. I work out at least 5x per week. He suggested an iron supplement for two months, get retested, and after that go back to a multivitamin with iron, or take the iron pill every other day (if my readings come back normal). There is a lesson here someplace, damned if I know what it is though.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:09 PM   #2
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There is a lesson here someplace, damned if I know what it is though.
Two lessons, actually.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
and
Nobody gets out alive.

Personally I've taken iron forever, as I've always been slightly anemic. And it's certainly not from too much exercise. If I live lone enough maybe it will get me, but it's pretty far down on the list of worries.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:16 PM   #3
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Quite a while ago I learned (right here, actually) that the Centrum 50+ menís supplement differs from the standard version in iron. So I went that way.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:42 PM   #4
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https://nutritionfacts.org/video/ris...n-supplements/

A good watch.
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:30 PM   #5
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I've seen it recommended that men should give blood once a year to get rid of excess iron
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LXEX55 View Post
I read a few articles about how dangerous iron supplements can be, especially to male senior citizens. I checked my multivitamin and sure enough it contained iron. In my infinite wisdom, I threw it out, and purchased a no-iron formula. As a side note, my past blood tests have always beenn fine. Three months after I made the switch, I took a routine blood test. You guessed it, it came back "anemic". I called a hematologist friend of mine in NYC and asked his advice. He explained that he has observed that males (any age) who work out in the gym or run more than four times a week, for some reason, have a tendency to run anemic. He did not know why, he simply observed it in his patients. I work out at least 5x per week. He suggested an iron supplement for two months, get retested, and after that go back to a multivitamin with iron, or take the iron pill every other day (if my readings come back normal). There is a lesson here someplace, damned if I know what it is though.
I've never read or heard anything about men taking extra iron = bad.
However similar to you Ive worked out, ran, or swam 330+ days a yr. for 40plus yrs. Almost daily is my point.

Anemia blood levels Ive had range from 7 to 30, thats a huge disparity in %'s.
At 7 the hospital kept me overnight hydrating me w/an iron supplement.

I've been advised to take an iron supplement by my PCP.
You might recall the 70s Geritol TV/radio marketing for (all elders) w/iron poor blood?


Good luck & Best wishes!
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:07 PM   #7
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I have posted here before about how excess iron in my system nearly killed me. I finally had my ferritin checked (simple blood test), only to find out that it was sky-high, and that was what was causing my problems (irregular heart beat, rapid weight loss, hair loss, fatigue, etc). Once I found that out, I started donating blood (which removes iron from your system), and I started to improve right away.

I highly recommend that everyone (males, in particular) get your ferritin checked when you do your annual blood tests. It's a cheap test, and if your ferritin is too high, it is easy to get it back down to normal levels by donating blood.

Here is one article on iron overload, and the damage it can do to your system. Excess iron can damage virtually every organ in your body, and may promote cancer, as well. There is a lot more info. online..........just google iron overload.

https://medium.com/better-humans/why...h-a36e2db37258

By the way, regular blood donors live a few years longer than the average person, also. Getting rid of excess iron may be a main reason for that.

I started a thread on this topic about a year or so ago. I can probably find that, if anyone is interested. Or feel free to message me if you want more info. on what I learned about this. Had I not learned about iron overload and taken steps to resolve it, I'm not sure I would be around today.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:14 PM   #8
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There is a lesson here someplace, damned if I know what it is though.
I think the lesson here is if it ain't broke...talk to a doc before you fix it.

Seniors tend to be more prone to excess iron, and I think most of the "silver" supplements exclude it. DH had hemochromatosis from excess ferritin, solved with regular blood phlebotomies (and or giving blood). Untreated it can lead to organ damage. Took a while to diagnose too, and even longer for a doctor to insist that some slightly abnormal blood work needed to be looked into.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:47 PM   #9
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This short article is directed towards endurance athletes but may be relevant to the original poster's situation.
Note how the advice keeps to the conservative end of normal.

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Measuring iron is sometimes done by measuring the hemoglobin. The assumption is that if there is enough iron to make hemoglobin you must have enough iron. However, savvy athletes know to check their ferritin level. Ferritin is a marker of total body iron stores and ferritin might be low even when the hemoglobin is normal. It can be checked with a blood test. Studies have shown that up to 90% of female endurance athletes have low ferritin. Male athletes, particularly in endurance sports can also have low iron. Endurance athletes use more iron. A normal ferritin level is usually considered 20 Ė160 although it can vary from lab to lab. Most runners should aim for a ferritin of 25 Ė30. Increasing your ferritin beyond that is unlikely to improve performance.



https://01522165-1b7a-41b9-bda1-50bc2028d175.filesusr.com/ugd/81b3e6_b033bd9fb8ad4768a0a8df6409bf0206.pdf
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:49 PM   #10
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I get ferritin levels checked as part of my regular screen.

I quit taking iron once I was post-menopause.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:51 PM   #11
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I've seen it recommended that men should give blood once a year to get rid of excess iron
You might want to know if you have excess iron first.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:34 AM   #12
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My ferritin was 285, close to the upper limit of normal, so I started donating blood once or twice a year. Now its down to 74.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:36 AM   #13
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Glad you got it measured!
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:24 AM   #14
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He explained that he has observed that males (any age) who work out in the gym or run more than four times a week, for some reason, have a tendency to run anemic. He did not know why, he simply observed it in his patients. I work out at least 5x per week. He suggested an iron supplement for two months, get retested, and after that go back to a multivitamin with iron, or take the iron pill every other day (if my readings come back normal).
This is similar to my situation. When my workouts increased my annual physical came up with borderline/low anemia enough so that my doctor told me to take an iron pill every other day but also eating more iron rich foods.

I also give blood, and it is 50/50 whether our not my levels are high enough. I do try to take an iron pill daily and eat more citrus fruits for about a week before I give blood, that seems to help.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:02 PM   #15
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My ferritin was 285, close to the upper limit of normal, so I started donating blood once or twice a year. Now its down to 74.
Most labs still use 300 or higher as the upper end of the reference range, but I did a lot of research on ferritin when I was sick, and 300 is way too high. You have to remember that these "reference ranges" labs use are based on the results from people who have their ferritin (and other blood tests) done, and who are not suffering any symptoms at the time of the test. It does not mean that a ferritin level of 250-300 is optimum for good health, because it's not. The optimum level is probably around 60-80, so you are right in the optimum range with 74. My ferritin was about 400 when I first had it checked (I was quite sick at the time), and the doctor actually told me it was maybe a little high, but nothing to worry about. I found out later that was not correct. After quite a few blood donations, I finally got my ferritin level down to where it should be, and my health greatly improved.
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