What did I do wrong - crashed my iron levels with vitamin C? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-16-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for the vitamin and mineral gurus :

I took a lot of Vit C about 10 days ago, in the form of ascorbic acid, to help me stay well while the kids had colds. I got to be quite anemic in the following days, which isn't normal for me (my iron is usually pretty good, due to red raspberry herbs and the fact that I've had one AF in like 3 years).

Would that have been linked to taking 3000 mg of Vit C a day for a couple of days? Was that dumb?

More importantly, will I have this problem now that I've switched to Sodium Ascorbate-type C?

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#2 of 4 Old 03-16-2009, 01:58 PM
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In a pinch, I've had to use ascorbic acid instead of SA at times, and it hasn't caused any other problems for me (except the sour, puckered look on my face ). I've never heard of iron dropping so fast from a good level to feeling bad--maybe you're more sensitive to your iron level than I am? It doesn't sound like you're usually borderline though.

When you say anemic--could it have been copper? I've heard of high amounts of C lowering copper levels, and copper's also needed for red blood cells, people can become anemic due to lack of copper. But typical diets have lots and lots of sources of copper, so you'd have to have a very odd diet (or be supplementing zinc at a really high level) to get low in copper. And I've always read of the copper depleting effect taking quite a while to build-up (though it would presumably depend on whether you were borderline with copper to begin with). This would be quite unusual, but it's at least theoretically possible.

I've been taking SA for a while now (at quite high levels), and it hasn't caused iron issues for me. Not a guarantee, but I haven't read that as a semi-common side effect.
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#3 of 4 Old 03-16-2009, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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hm, okay...it seemed odd to me too, because i don't remember seeing a link between vit c and dropping iron.

it was definitely iron - i did the gold ring test...and i was so verrrrrry tired. no energy. took some blackstrap molasses for a couple of days and all was well again.

good to know there isn't an SA/iron problem. i need my iron!
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#4 of 4 Old 03-16-2009, 02:27 PM
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It would be very unusual to get anemic that fast no matter the cause. Further, anemia isn't fixed in two days of supplementation/black strap molasses. It just isn't possible. Vitamin C wouldn't have had anything to do with it at any rate.

But if your iron was really low here's my suspicion as I've seen it myself (confirmed in serial blood draws). Your body was trying fight the illness/illnesses. Our bodies are pretty smart and iron is used for some viruses to replicate (and feeds bacteria as well I believe). So in illness the body can make the iron essentially unavailable to the body. If you do a lab test at that time you'll have high ferritin (available iron) but low iron, iron binding, and the rest of the iron deficiency indicators. My son at that time was symptomatic for anemia. It corrects when the illness is past as your body really does have enough iron. This sounds more like what you experienced to me.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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