The phrase ‘too much of anything is bad’ doesn’t just apply to your favourite take out meal - it also applies to one of the most essential minerals: iron.

While iron plays a crucial part in making blood cells which carry oxygen around our body, it can be harmful in high amounts.

See also: Can you Develop Hemochromatosis?



Can you take too much iron?


While a healthy diet should be enough to help you get all the iron you need day in and day out, according to the National Institutes of Health [1], these are the recommended daily intakes of iron:

  • 8mg for men over 18
  • 18mg for women over 18
  • 8mg for women over 51+

See also: Iron Deficiency Anemia: Symptoms and Causes


What happens if I take too much iron?


If you are taking in too much iron - whether it be from supplements or food intake, you may experience certain side effects, these include [2]:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain

If you are regularly taking in too much iron over a certain period of time, this might result in conditions such as:

  • Iron overload: Excess stores of iron in the body
  • Iron toxicity: An acute form over iron overload which happens quickly rather than over time

See also: What is Hemochromatosis? Symptoms and Causes


If you want to know more about your iron levels, the best way to do just that is by visiting your local doctor or by taking a lab test from the comfort of your own home.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home Iron Test can check for iron deficiencies in the body. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated team of medical experts will be available to answer any questions you may have along the way.

See also: How do you Check Iron Levels From Home?



References

  1. National Institutes of Health. Iron. Online: Ods.od.nih.gov, 2020
  2. NHS. Vitamins and Minerals. Online: Nhs.uk, 2017