T Nation

Supplementing with Iron


Should one supplement with iron? 35mg a day or just get it from food?


Men should not supplement with iron unless a blood test indicates it.


well, shit.


Yes, unfortunately men’s iron levels can easily be driven too high, as we have little means to eliminate it, and above-normal levels show quite a substantial indication of increasing cardiovascular risk (27 studies supporting, 20 failing to find effect, and 8 against; in in cross-sectional 9 out of 10 studies supporting.) There’s also indication of promoting development of metabolic syndrome. As to how abnormally high iron levels could cause this, it’s very pro-oxidative.

Even given that men generally have no need for it and may have levels driven too high from it, some products intended for men still include iron and sometimes even at high doses, even in general purpose products such as MRP’s.


I interestingly tested low for ferritin

Acceptable range is 25-200 and I tested at 24.

I wonder if I need to supplement with iron?


I would say yes, or change diet if not presently rich in iron-containing foods (principally meats including seafood, but there’s also significant iron in spinach, beans, broccoli, and some other vegetables, but in non-heme form which is not as well absorbed.)


Were you tested for other mineral and vitamin status? Your result could indicate malabsorption if your diet typically meets the Recommended Daily Amount.


I eat a typical bodybuilder diet - plenty of meat (especially fish) and I also put down a big plate of veggies daily. So I should get plenty of iron in heme and non-heme forms.

I have been tested for Vitamin B12 and Vit D. I do not supplement with B12 and I came within range (middle range). I supplement with Vit D and I was well above the cutoff of what’s deemed acceptable.

I don’t think I have any symptoms of anemia. I will get re-tested and see if I test low again. Oddly enough I also have elevated prolactin but have never taken 19-nor steroid in my life.


What should a mans intake be? Different from RDA?


[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
What should a mans intake be? Different from RDA?[/quote]

Not sure but I would bet most men on this site are in the upper ranges of iron levels.