If you’ve been comparing the labels of regular adult vitamins and senior vitamins, you may have noticed that senior vitamins these days are often iron-free. So why don’t senior vitamins contain iron? Is there a reason senior vitamins are iron-free?
Simply put, it’s because consuming too much iron does more harm than good, according to today’s research.
It was once thought that the more iron we get the better we’ll feel since iron leads to energy and vitality. But as we age, it’s actually additional vitamin B12 and other nutrients that give us energy and make us feel good, not just iron.
Unless you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan or have very poor dietary habits, you probably get plenty of iron. It’s in beef and chicken as well as many plants, including spinach. And you don’t need very much.
Some people have a condition called anemia that results from having too little iron in the blood. And some people — especially women — have a predisposition to having low iron. For these people, taking iron supplements is essential to good health.
For young and middle aged adults, vitamin supplements have a little iron in them because a little can help increase vitality. But as we age and lead less active lifestyles, iron can actually store itself in our bodies and cause a decline in physical and mental abilities. It’s for this reason that iron isn’t usually included in senior citizen vitamins anymore.
Taking vitamin supplements isn’t a bad idea, but some vitamins, minerals and other nutrients don’t need to be supplemented in some people.
If you’re concerned that you’re missing iron or other vital nutrients from your diet, ask your doctor to test you blood for low iron. It’s a simple test. Then, don’t supplement your iron intake unless your level is low and your doctor recommends supplementation.
While a multivitamin can round out imbalances in your diet and in your body, adding iron to an aging body isn’t always a good idea and most vitamin makers leave it out of senior vitamins now. There’s strong science behind why they do that.