Why I Never Recommend Iron Supplements

Updated: Jul 29

Low #ferritin (stored iron) actually means low bioavailable #copper. It is rarely an iron deficiency and is almost always a deeper issue! We need to zoom out and look at the whole picture.

Minerals all work together and when one is low, it impacts the others! For instance, when copper levels are low, #iron levels are low. Low bioavailable copper is really the big culprit to anemia and supplementing with iron only depletes copper further! Vitamins also play a huge component as they help absorb, convert and move minerals throughout the body. Adequate vitamin A and C are crucial when it comes to iron.

Why do I have low #bioavailable copper? It is usually caused by hidden copper #toxicity because it is bio unavailable due to it being stored. You always want to look at the big picture and identify the true root cause.

I am sure a lot of women are concerned because we lose iron through our period each month but our bodies are smarter than that. It’s a very minimal amount that we lose and women absorb up to 3x more iron than men because estrogen increases iron absorption. Trust me, we get plenty of iron from food! We are constantly getting bombarded with it. If you are on birth control or not menstruating regularly, you can almost guarantee that you have too much iron despite what your blood work says.

In fact, the majority of us with low iron in our #blood actually have high iron in our tissue and we just don’t have enough of the enzyme to move it back and forth. The #enzyme is getting blocked by too much iron in the tissue.

On top of this, we have an iron recycling system that helps our bodies produce 24mg of iron everyday. Our bone marrow uses this iron to produce more red blood cells. Our red blood cells live for approximately 120 days, then get broken down and repeat. It only takes 25mg of iron to support red blood cell production so we really only need 1mg of iron per day from food. And when bioavailable copper or vitamin A levels are low, this #ironrecyclingsystem takes a big hit. This is because iron is meant to be in constant circulation with the recycling system, and ceruloplasmin helps make this happen. Ceruloplasmin is made from copper and vitamin A. Lastly, getting off #birthcontrol and making sure you have a proper #period bleed is how this system is going to get rid of excess iron.

Copper is the mineral responsible for activating and moving oxygen as well as making ATP (energy). So low bioavailable copper is the real reason why you are experiencing chronic fatigue. Even though it says iron stores are low on blood work, it’s really just being stored in your tissues (likely due to #inflammation) and needs to be brought into the blood to build hemoglobin molecules. How do we do this? INCREASE BIO-AVAILABLE COPPER through food and lifestyle (not supplement).

Stop your iron supplement and start:

Organ meat like liver (I supplement cause gross)



Vitamin C in whole food form (bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits)

#Bvitamins in whole food form (bee pollen)

Near Infrared Light Therapy

Research shows that women who are anemic don’t need more iron but need to support thyroid function and mineral balance which has been proven to be a lot more beneficial for regulating iron in the body.

Other reasons I don’t recommend iron supplements:

Too much iron in the tissue feeds infection/overgrowths and keeps bad bacteria alive. If you have pathogens, parasites, #viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeast etc. which most of us do at some point, you are only making the problem worse. These things love to feast on iron! We have more bacteria than human cells so we need an abundance of good bacteria to optimize health.

Iron increases oxidative stress in the body which drives disease.

Iron not only depletes copper but also vitamin E and magnesium which are extremely crucial for hormone health. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces #freeradical damage and slows the #aging process of your cells. Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in your body and it’s required for thousands of bodily functions.

Iron toxicity is a huge problem. If you supplement but your body doesn’t actually need it you are going to run into massive, life threatening problems.


Katie xx

References (from Dr. Ray Peat research):

Allen, D. R., et al., "Catechol adrenergic agents enhance hydroxyl radical generation in xanthine oxidase systems containing ferritin: Implications for ischemia reperfusion," Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 315(2), 235-243, 1994.

M. Bartal, et al., "Lipid peroxidation in iron deficiency anemia--Reply," Acta Haematol. 91(3), 170, 1994.

R. J. Bergeron, et al., "Influence of iron on in vivo proliferation and lethality of L1210 cells," J. Nutrition 115(3), 369-374, 1985.

P. Carthew and A. G. Smith, "Pathological mechanisms of hepatic tumor formation in rats exposed chronically to dietary hexachlorobenzene," J. Applied Toxicology 14(6), 447-52, 1994.

Chen, Y., et al., "Weak antioxidant defenses make the heart a target for damage in copper-deficient rats," Free Radical Biol. Med. 17(6), 529-536, 1994.

J. J. C. Chiao, et al., "Iron delocalization occurs during ischemia and persists on reoxygenation of skeletal muscle," J. Lab. Clin. Med. 124(3), 432-438, 1994.

Choi, J. H. and B. P. Yu, "Modulation of age-related alterations of iron, ferritin, and lipid peroxidation in rat serum," Age 17(3), 93-97, 1994.

P. C. Elwood, "Iron, magnesium, and ischemic heart disease," Proc. of Nutrition Society 53(3), 599-603, 1994.

J. Goodfield, An Imagined World, Penguin Books, N.Y., 1984.

M. Galleano and S. Puntarulo, "Mild iron overload effect on rat liver nuclei," Toxicol. 93(2-3), 125-34, 1994.

E. C. Hirsch, "Biochemistry of Parkinson's disease with special reference to the dopaminergic systems," Mol. Neurobiol. 9(1-3), 135-142, 1994.

G. M. Kainova, et al., "Activation of endogenous lipid peroxidation in the brain during oxidation stress induced by iron and its prevention by vitamin E," Bull. Exp. Biol. & Med. 109(1), 43-45, 1989.

S. Kiechl, et al., "Body iron stores and presence of carotid atherosclerosis--results from the Bruneck study," Arterioscler. Thromb. 14(10), 1625-1630, 1994.

A. V. Kozlov, et al., "Role of endogenous free iron in activation of lipid peroxidation during ischemia," Bull. Exp. Biol. Med. 99(1), 1984.

D. J. Lamb and D. S. Leake, "Iron released from transferrin at acidic pH can catalyse the oxidation of low density lipoprotein," FEBS Lett 352(1), 15-18, 1994.

E. E. Letendre, "Importance of iron in the pathogenesis of infection and neoplasm," Trends in Biochemical Sci., April, 1985, 166-168.

V. M. Mann, et al., "Complex 1, iron and ferritin in Parkinson's disease substantia nigra," Ann. of Neurology 36(6), 876-81, 1994.

Z. Maskos and W. H. Koppenol, "Oxyradicals and multivitamin tablets," Free Radical Biol. & Med. 11, 669-670, 1991.

S. Ozsoylu, "Lipid peroxidation in iron deficiency anemia," Acta Haematol. 91(3), 170, 1994.

Pecci, L., et al., "Aminoethylcystein ketimine decarboxylated dimer protects submitochondrial particles from lipid peroxidation at a concentration not inhibitory of electron transport," Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 205(1), 264-268, 1994.

M. Savoiardo, et al., "Magnetic resonance imaging in progressive supranuclear palsy and other parkinsonian disorders," J. Neural Trans. (suppl. 42), 93-110, 1994.

J. J. Strain, "Putative role of dietary trace elements in coronary heart disease and cancer," Brit. J. Biomed. Sci. 51(3), 241-251, 1994.

Vanrensburg, S. J., et al., "Lipid peroxidation and platelet membrane fluidity--implications for Alzheimer's disease?", Neuroreport 5(17), 2221-2224, 1994.

L. J. Wesselius, et al., "Increased release of ferritin and iron by iron-loaded alveolar macrophages in cigarette smokers," Amer. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 150(3), 690-695, 1994.

Transfusions: Amer. J. of Surgery 155, p. 43, 1988. *A Finnish study, two years ago, indicated that high iron stores may increase heart attack risk: In People magazine, 1994: "Is iron a killer?" Dr. Jerome L. Sullivan, director of clinical labs of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Charleston, S.C., in 1983 proposed that excess iron contributes to heart attacks. University of Kuopio in Finland: Large-scale study (nearly 2,000 men, for up to five years; next to smoking, excess stored iron is the most significant identifiable risk factor for heart attacks. It is a stronger risk factor for heart attack than high blood pressure and cholesterol.

*Dec. 7, page 6E, Register Guard (Eugene, OR): US studies showed a weak connection between iron and heart disease, and a weak connection with the iron in red meat. Epidemiologists at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Washington have reported that the greater the concentration of iron in a person's blood, the greater his or her risk of cancer. Richard Stevens and his co-workers found the connection from examining cancer rates in more than 8,000 people who participated in the l971 National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. A second Finnish study with similar findings accompanied Stevens's report in the International Journal of Cancer, and suggets that there may be cause for concern. Register Guard (Eugene, OR), Jan. 16, 95; p 7A: Number of heart failures doubles, AP: 1982-92, heart disease death rate dropped 24.5%; number of cases of congestive heart failure doubled during roughly the same period. It killed 39,000 Americans in 1991, costs system $40 billion per year. Cancer is the biggest killer of women under 64, heart disease far surpasses cancer in women of ages 65-84.