T Nation

Iron in multivitamins

Why do some multi-vitamins come with or without Iron? Does Iron stop absorbtion? What the dillio?

Most women need to supplement with iron as they can lose a significant amount through menstruation. On the other hand, men really have no way to get rid of iron, and should not supplement with it unless they are iron deficient, as excess iron can be toxic. That’s why multi’s come in the two varieties.

There could be another reason, but I remember reading a chapter in the Protein Power Lifeplan that explained how most people store Iron very efficiently and so most of us have too much rather than too little, and having too much can actually be harmful.

Not only can it be toxic, but it can also cause constipation relatively quickly.

Iron is a real biatch when it comes to absorption. The RDA is 10 times for men and 15 times for women what the body needs. The reason is not much of it is absorbed. It has also been known to cause stomach upset in some people. There are 2 types of iron, heme and non-heme. Heme has hemoglobin in it and is found mainly in meats. Non-heme is what is found in veggies. They say that spinach has a grip of iron, but its non heme and hardly absorbed. Go and grub on that dinosaur you carnivor!

Lifespan in males is shorter with high iron levels, the RDA will probably be revised to a bit lower levels.

The theory is we (males) used to get cut and injured (bleed) more often in the past than we do in modern times.