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Too Much Iron At One Meal?

8/17 8:51:31

Question
Hi,

Is there a problem with getting too much iron in one meal? I realized the other day that my breakfasts tend to be pretty high in iron.  I eat a 1/2 cup of grapenuts (which has 90% iron per serving).  I put coconut milk, bananas,dried berries, and nuts in it as well (I'm not sure how much iron is in all that).  I also have 2 glasses of a fruit/veg smoothie which is vitamin c based and has about 8% iron total. I add a hemp protein powder to this which has 9% iron per serving. (I do not take any multivitamins other than B12.)

As you can see I exceed the daily requirement for iron in one sitting.  I also eat other iron rich foods during the day--for example for lunch I will have lentils or chickpeas.  I should add that I am a female and primarily eat a vegan diet (however I occasionally I do eat vegetarian foods).  I have read that vegan females should increase their iron to almost double the daily requirement for meat eaters.  I think all in all I do get a fair amount of iron throughout the day--I just would like to know if getting a ton of of it at one meal is bad for our bodies?

Answer
Consuming too much iron may cause gastrointestinal effects such as black and bloody stools, the vomiting of blood, diarrhea and nausea. Too much iron in your body can cause a number of other symptoms, including dehydration, headache, lowered blood pressure, fever, a pulse that is either overly fast or weak, drowsiness, chills and dizziness. On rare conditions, a person who overdoses on iron may go into a shock or coma.An average women needs about 18 mg per day.

If you are concerned that you are consuming to much iron have your doctor do a simple blood test and then you can put your mind at ease. It is very difficult for a women to consume to much iron unless they are taking supplements and eating an iron filled diet.

Thanks For Writing

Larry S.
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