As teenagers, my son and daughter were both borderline haemochromotosis, and it was not a genetic thing. It was because they were eating a very high iron diet, and not because that was what I was giving them, but rather their choices of food apart from the meals I was giving. They had both been told that if their blood results didn't improve, that the next step would be 'blood letting'! They had been told that most people tended to focus on too little iron, but a lot of people have clinically high iron issues. I saw in one article that in NZ it was thought to be about 1 in 200 people. That seems a little too high for me, but ....? Maybe because we have access to and generally eat plenty of quality fresh meat.
I'm not knocking the multi-vitamins per se, but rather those targeted at specific things, like iron, magnesium or potassium.
There is a big difference between getting more than the daily recommended, and "overdosing" that can cause damage/illness. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, per their research with the FDA: "Female adults 19 - 50 years [should get] 18 mg daily" of iron. In their article, available on their website, they say: "According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), taking up to 45 mg of iron per day is safe. Whether taking more than that over a long period of time is safe is unknown. Severe iron overdose occurs when amounts of iron 50 -100 times greater than the recommended dietary dose are taken." Getting 1 1/2 times or so the RDA of iron because you're taking a multivitamin is not going to hurt you if you don't have a problem with iron absorption. If you're concerned about how iron effects you, or if you've never talked to your doctor about it, make an appointment for a physical.
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Before people decide to take supplements they really should talk with their Dr first to see if they actually need them. Blood tests are usually done to find out. Where it comes to iron, it CAN be easy to overdose especially if you are eating a healthy diet (and remember, not all nutrients are required to be shown in the nutrition labels), and then you 'top it up' with supplements. An iron overload in the body can be very serious and affect your various organs.
I'm anemic and take a prescription iron supplement. In order for it to be absorbed, I have to take it two to three hours after a meal and wait one to two hours before I eat again. Taking it on an empty stomach makes me sick, so I can only have it with nuts, fruit, vegetables, water, and juice. Whole grain products, as well as anything with calcium, block iron absorption. Being that your multivitamin contains calcium (more than likely) and you probably don't limit your diet around the time that you take it, I would think that it's safe to take it daily if you feel that you need it.
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While it's never a bad idea to check with your doctor, for most people it's hard to overdose on iron by supplementing with a multivitamin. You're not talking about taking an iron supplement on top of a multivitamin on top of an iron rich diet. You're taking an FDA approved multivitamin designed for teens.
Now, I've researched this too, because it had me concerned. I take an iron and a calcium with vitamin D because I can't take a multivitamin. Something in them makes me puke - I don't know why. I eat a multivitamin, and within 15 minutes, I throw it up. But I don't eat dairy, so I take calcium. I work out hard and have difficult periods, so I take iron. (I've been anemic, it sucks.)
When supplementing iron becomes a problem is (and I'm not a doctor, so this is definitely not a complete list): - pre-adolescent children - they can die from too much iron - people with certain conditions (like hemochromatosis) that cause them to absorb more iron than most people are able to - post-menopausal women and men need less, but still hard to OD
Remember that your multivitamin was designed to be taken with the spectrum of "regular" diets. If you start to feel ill, though, stop taking your vitamin until you've talked with your doctor.
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I can understand the frugal part. I have a bottle of multivitamins that are just a little past their outdate and I'm too cheap to throw them away, I'm going to use them anyway, at least for a little while. But it's great that you have blood work due and can get your iron checked out. That's one thing you really don't want too high (or too low.)
I got the vitamins for my daughter because she doesn't care for milk and is very active. So it's actually girl teen vitamins (marketing). But she said they are too big to swallow so being frugal I decided to take them rather than throw them out. I am due for blood work so I will ask when I get my referral.
This is one that you definitely want to talk to your doctor about, and get the bloodwork done to find out what your iron and ferritin levels are.
If your levels are low, then let your doctor know what levels of iron you regularly get from foods and get his/her recommendation on how much you should be looking for in a supplement.
Also, keep in mind that how much iron is shown as being *in* the food or supplement doesn't mean that your body is actually absorbing all of it. How much is absorbed depends on your body, and what other foods you are eating with it (Vitamin C increases the amount, while calcium decreases it). Personally, I need to run at 175% or more every day to maintain my iron and ferritin levels in the low end of "normal".
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If I don't take a one a day vitamin, I come up short on iron getting 30-60. If I take the vitamin I get over 150 and once in the 190's. The one a day has 100percent RDA iron. Should I just take one every other day? When I am done with the bottle I'll look for something with less iron, but I don't want to throw the vitamins out, just use them up.
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