Iron Deficiency in a Vegan: Cured
Here’s some good news.
In March of 2012, a vegan woman wrote me saying that her serum ferritin levels were 8 ng/ml. The reference range for her laboratory was 10-232 ng/ml. Generally, a healthy level is above 18 ng/ml with levels as low as 12 ng/ml being associated with complete depletion of iron stores.
Instead of supplementing with iron, she:
• Increased beans and spinach from once every two weeks to two to three times a week (yes, she had been eating surprisingly few beans for a vegan)
• Replaced brown rice with quinoa (which has about twice the amount of iron)
• Stopped drinking coffee with meals
• Added a 500 mg vitamin C tablet or an orange to a couple of her high-iron meals a week
She just got her iron tested again and it was 28 ng/ml. A big increase which puts her well above iron deficiency!
As fate would have it, Ginny Messina has also written an article today about iron in vegan diets, Iron Nutrition: Why the Rules are Different for Vegans.
And since this was my first post in awhile in which I wasn’t highlighting some sort of screw-up on my part, it’s time to bring out the request for support! See below.