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  1. #1
    Registered User jawadams's Avatar
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    Should Vegetarians take an Iron Supplement

    Hey guys,

    I am right now trying what I call a "most of the time pesco-vegetarian diet"

    That means I eat eggs, dairy and fish, and "most of the time" means I'll sometimes eat meat on Weekends but that's it.

    I lift 4x per week and do cardio 5-6x so I'm wondering if I should be taking an iron supplement.

    I know there are other sources of iron but I'm sure I'm not getting as much as I used to even with still eating fish.

    I take a Multivitamin currently.
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  2. #2
    Registered User BookMonkey's Avatar
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    Generally, vegetarians first starting out have a lack of iron. They usually would need to take supplements before learning what other foods to mix in. Being vegetarian or vegan is not an easy road.
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  3. #3
    Registered User jawadams's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BookMonkey View Post
    Generally, vegetarians first starting out have a lack of iron. They usually would need to take supplements before learning what other foods to mix in. Being vegetarian or vegan is not an easy road.
    Since I'm "barely" vegetarian I eat a decent amount of fish, lots of dairy and some eggs.

    I generally try to have a salad every day, but sometimes that's all the veggies I get. I eat at least 2-3 pieces of fruit every day and have a couple protein shakes as well.

    Anyway, so you think I should take some iron. I haven't noticed ant decreases in energy or strength (in fact I think I'm in better shape now) and I've been doing it a few months.
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  4. #4
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use a typical iron supplement (like Feosol that's 45 mg) unless you've had blood tests and can justify that dose. Daily iron loss in males is typically only 1 mg but can be increased a little bit more from a number of other small losses. The UL for iron is 45 mg/day and iron absorption is fairly well regulated barring any genetic disorders but generally there isn't much reason for getting much beyond ~9 mg/day total.
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  5. #5
    Registered User BookMonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by in10city View Post
    I wouldn't use a typical iron supplement (like Feosol that's 45 mg) unless you've had blood tests and can justify that dose. Daily iron loss in males is typically only 1 mg but can be increased a little bit more from a number of other small losses. The UL for iron is 45 mg/day and iron absorption is fairly well regulated barring any genetic disorders but generally there isn't much reason for getting much beyond ~9 mg/day total.
    This. Women tend to have greater issues with iron deficiency than men, but still it would be best to see your doctor before taking unneeded iron supps. Overdosing on irons can actually be deadly.
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  6. #6
    Registered User TBU720's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are menstruating pretty heavily so an iron supplement might be a good idea.
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  7. #7
    Moisture farmer desslok's Avatar
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    I heard cooking in cast iron pans would cut the need for an iron supp. Any truth to this? Hopefully in10city may know for sure.
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  8. #8
    Registered User jdrdroo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jawadams View Post
    Hey guys,

    I am right now trying what I call a "most of the time pesco-vegetarian diet"

    That means I eat eggs, dairy and fish, and "most of the time" means I'll sometimes eat meat on Weekends but that's it.

    I lift 4x per week and do cardio 5-6x so I'm wondering if I should be taking an iron supplement.

    I know there are other sources of iron but I'm sure I'm not getting as much as I used to even with still eating fish.

    I take a Multivitamin currently.

    I have a tip for you: Vitamin C increases iron absorbtion, so therefore supplement Vitamin C together with any iron rich food you might be having. As far as a separate iron supplement, I wouldn't recommend it.
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  9. #9
    Registered User jawadams's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. I had heard the Vitamin C thing as well so I'll do that.
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    -There are no reps; only failure
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  10. #10
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Whenever I meet a (gasp) vegan or vegetarian (who is doing so for "health reasons' rather than for ethical reasons), I invariably recommend s/he becomes a ravenous omnivores, with carnivorous leanings.
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  11. #11
    Registered User cman1787's Avatar
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    lentils, chickpeas, eggplants, avacodos, portebello mushrooms are all good meat substitutes.

    lentils are quite rich in iron.


    crushed almonds in orange juice is good too
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  12. #12
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    I heard cooking in cast iron pans would cut the need for an iron supp. Any truth to this? Hopefully in10city may know for sure.
    Yeah, if you use iron cookware frequently there shouldn't be any need to seek out a multi or other supp with iron assuming your iron stores are already OK. If your iron stores are low a doc would probably recommend an iron supp since the amount of iron the cookware adds is quite variable and would be hard to get a large amount.
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