A 56-year-old female asked:
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is it safe for a 31 year old healthy male to take 18mg of iron in his vitamin daily?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Paul Garrett
40 years experience Radiology
Get tested: Before taking oral iron, blood tests to show iron deficiency should be done. Oral iron can constipate and inhibit zinc metabolism among other things. While not life threateningly dangerous, it is not be such a great idea to take iron if you don't need it. In general, males have less need for iron supplements since they don't have menses.
Answered on Jul 4, 2018
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Dr. James Ferguson
46 years experience Pediatrics
Likely: When the diet is erratic or health marginal supplements may be of value. The usual male iron loss is 1-2mg/d and since you only absorb 10% of dietary iron, a supplement at that level is unlikely to cause problems. What the body doesn't need it will not absorb. Since a regular diet supplies the need, supplements just make for expensive pee/poop.
Answered on Jul 5, 2018
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