Everyone is always looking for the next big secret that is going to help with cancer. The ancient, Mongolian flower reinvented into a disgusting juice you should be drinking 14 times per day. But what if in the search to uncover a secret, we forgot about something that could be incredibly useful and is right in front of us?
Want to know what I think is the most overlooked supplement for cancer fighters? My big pharmacy secret? Read on.
It’s iron. Yes iron! Many cancer fighters are anemic or iron deficient and they have good reason to be.
How many blood samples have been taken from you?
That can add up to a lot of blood missing.
How’s your diet been?
Probably not great and probably not full of iron rich foods. You’re likely eating whatever you can stomach which isn’t often red meat.
What’s your cancer treatment like?
Treatment itself can make you iron deficient.
When your iron is low, your hemoglobin is low (the part of the blood responsible for circulating oxygen around the body). If you have less oxygen circulating, you are going to feel awful, tired, like you have no energy.
There’s a couple of things you can do. Get your iron levels drawn to see if you are actually low or anemic. But even if your blood levels are normal, there is some literature to support improved fatigue and energy when supplementing with iron even if you are not anemic.
There are a few different types of iron supplements but let me tell you my approach. Iron has side effects and can be difficult to take. You may find it upsets your stomach and causes constipation. This is why I often take a slow approach to iron – no mega doses because slow and steady is going to win this one.
Below are the three most common iron supplements:
Ferrous gluconate 300 mg tablet = 35 mg elemental iron
Ferrous sulfate 300 mg tablet = 60 mg elemental iron
Ferrous fumarate 300 mg tablet = 100 mg elemental iron
What is important here is elemental iron. This is the amount of iron that is going to be absorbed in your body. The higher amount of elemental iron, the higher the dose but also the greater potential for side effects. I like to start with ferrous gluconate. One tablet a day before bedtime is a great place to start.
To get the benefits from iron, you need to take it for an extended period of time (e.g. up to 6 months before you see the full effect). So might as well start now!
The information shared does not constitute a medical consultation and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health provider for questions regarding a medical condition.
Please do not disregard professional health provider advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately.