Shoud I avoid iron?

I received an email from one of our customers:

“Hi Don,
I am I long time customer. I use your willvites multi. I am 62 years old. Should I use the iron free formular?
I have read that the older you are the harder iron is on your digestive tract.”

There are two issues here. First, I hate to see someone take action because they are concerned about something that may happen. It might not. Second, I think there are way too many people who totally eliminate iron from their supplement regimen. My response to this customer was as follows:

“Iron is a very important nutrient. Willvite only contains 9 mg per four tablets, which is one-half the recommended daily requirement. I would not eliminate iron from my supplement regimen merely because of concerns that it _might_ be “harder on the digestive tract” as you get older. Not at all. I think too many people make a mistake in totally removing iron.”

Yes, if you have the genetic disease  hemochromatosis, you want to eliminate iron. Yes, if you are a woman, your need for replacing iron lost each month during menstruation ends during menopause. But iron deficiency–both overt and subclinical–is a common and serious problem. It is a mistake to over-react and completely eliminate iron from your diet and/or supplements.

I have written several articles elaborating on this topic, and if you are interested, I urge you to go to and read them. When you go to the Willner home page, select “iron” from the drop down menu under “Library Quick Search.”

About Don Goldberg

Hello. I am what you might call a Nutritional Pharmacist. After college, I worked in the Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Industry, first in Quality Control, and then in Manufacturing and Product Development. Increasingly, as the years passed, I became more involved with nutritional supplements. I spent many years detailing physicians, herbalists, and homeopaths about nutritional and herbal therapies and products. In 1992, along with my friend Arnie Gitomer, I bought Willner Chemists, a well-established nutritionally oriented pharmacy. For the first time, I had an opportunity to communicate directly with the consumer, the patient, and the customer. I love it. This blog is an additional way for me to extend my personal views and opinions directly to you. I also used to be on the radio, every Sunday, from 2 to 4 pm on WOR radio in NY (710 AM). You can listen to, or read excerpts from those shows on our website,
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