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Iron supplements and coffee

Poppet

Nutritional Advisor
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
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Australia Australia
Yes, coffee and many other drinks and foods can interfere with your body absorbing iron.

But it does not seem to be the caffeine that is the problem from my experience. It is related to another ingredient in coffee called phenolic acid. Drinking coffee and taking iron at the same time can decrease how much iron you absorb by as much as 40%.


Waiting two hours after drinking coffee before taking your iron pill is the sensible way to go. But you don’t need to stop drinking coffee completely.

To enhance how much iron you absorb, make sure to get plenty of vitamin C in your diet. For people who are anemic and iron deficient, I often recommend that they take their iron pill with 250 mg of vitamin C.

Also, you can’t just substitute for example tea or hot chocolate for coffee. In fact, cocoa and certain teas (especially black tea and peppermint tea) are even more potent iron absorption blockers. These drinks can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron by over 70%, and adding milk to coffee or tea does not make a difference.

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Cheers, Poppet.

Disclaimer: The information on dietary factors, foods, and beverages contained in this article does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, and interactions. It is not intended as medical advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this article is expressly disclaimed. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions including the taking of supplements.
 

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