Iron supplements are routinely advocated for anyone who is slightly anaemic and especially for pregnant women. Without a second thought. This can lead to people getting too much iron.
Food is complex. Every nutrient is supported by a host of other nutrients. No one nutrient stands in isolation. By upsetting this natural balance, you can create mischief. For example, too much iron reduces your absorption of copper.
Because it is possible to see what appears to be a positive effect from a synthetic supplement in the short term, it is assumed that it is beneficial and without harmful effects. However, the long term effect of iron supplementation is very different.
In a recent study in Finland involving 2,000 people, it was discovered that those taking iron supplements over a long period were more likely to suffer from heart attacks than those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Interestingly, men who regularly donate blood and menstruating women suffer fewer heart attacks.
It isn’t just iron supplements that can create havoc. Many so called staple foods are fortified with synthetic iron (and calcium) – non dairy milk, bread, cereal. Check the ingredients.
The world is not short of iron in the soil, so all food, with a few exceptions, will be high enough in iron to provide for most people’s iron requirements, as long as they are eating reasonably healthily.
Anaemia has many more reasons and causes other than an iron deficiency. Simply loading you up with iron is lazy medical practise. If you are eating well and are still anaemic, it is unlikely that an iron supplement will help you, even in the short term. It is far more likely that your body is not able to assimilate the iron in your diet. This points to an internal imbalance.
Even if your body is found to be deficient in iron, it is far better to get your nutritional requirements from food, than from a chemically made source. The body is delicately balanced.
Haemochromatosis is a disease that has an iron overload and the only way to manage this medically is to drain off blood regularly.
If you are regularly taking synthetic iron supplements (the majority on the market) then you may be at greater risk of heart problems. Treating your anaemia or iron deficiency with homeopathy will restore the imbalance that is the cause.
Natural foods high in iron will not cause an overload, as your body will excrete the surplus.