3 doctors weighed in:

How long after turning vegetarian might iron deficiency anemia start to show up?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not necessary

Contrary to what you might have heard on tv or some "experts", you don't necessarily get iron deficient just because you're vegetarian.
Lots of vegetables, beans, & fortified bread are loaded with iron. Many cultures survived millennia on little to no meat & many others with almost no red meat. It depends on the variety of your diet & medical conditions present. Plus there's iron in eggs & fish.

In brief: Not necessary

Contrary to what you might have heard on tv or some "experts", you don't necessarily get iron deficient just because you're vegetarian.
Lots of vegetables, beans, & fortified bread are loaded with iron. Many cultures survived millennia on little to no meat & many others with almost no red meat. It depends on the variety of your diet & medical conditions present. Plus there's iron in eggs & fish.
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Dr. Ankush Bansal
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1 comment
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Bansai is correct. The key is to look for iron-fortified foods.
Dr. Robert Warner
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology

In brief: Hopefully never

Humans have no way of getting iron out of our systems except blood loss; we regulate iron by how much we absorb in our small bowel.
If someone is not losing a significant amount of blood (we all lose a little) legumes, broccoli and kale should enable a vegetarian to remain adequately iron saturated. We absorb iron slowly, but store it very well, allowing most to go years even without fe absorption.

In brief: Hopefully never

Humans have no way of getting iron out of our systems except blood loss; we regulate iron by how much we absorb in our small bowel.
If someone is not losing a significant amount of blood (we all lose a little) legumes, broccoli and kale should enable a vegetarian to remain adequately iron saturated. We absorb iron slowly, but store it very well, allowing most to go years even without fe absorption.
Dr. Robert Warner
Dr. Robert Warner
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