The reason we are all told to avoid iron is because iron (excess
iron) is stored in the liver, and these iron stores are very hard on
the liver. In fact, too much iron stored in the liver can cause
hepatitis by itself, even in someone who doesn't have HCV or another
form of hepatitis. This does not mean that you should avoid all iron
though. Your body still needs iron, you just are shooting for a
balance of taking in what your body needs without building up an
excess of iron in your liver. It is only recommened that you avoid
ARTIFICAL supplements of iron, not iron containing foods. The iron in
foods in not usually very easily assimilated by the body, although if
you take vitamin C with a meal it does help the body to absorb the
iron. So - if you DON'T need iron, don't take vitamin C with a meal!
On the other hand, calcium taken with a meal will help prevent
absorption. Most women who no longer menstruate will not need iron
supplements anyway, but because of the blood lost with each menstrual
period, many younger women might still get a little anemic and need
some iron. There is no such thing as one hard and fast rule for
everybody. As long as there are no iron stores in the liver itself
than eating some iron rich food is ok. And yes, in someone who is
really anemeic it's possible that you might even need iron
supplements, although being a little on the anemic side is probably
not going to hurt you either. Being too anemic though is NOT good,
especially if you will be doing treatment with ribavirin. I think you
just have to look at the overall picture - iron levels, hemoglobin,
hematocrit, etc. And yes, it is ok to take B12 supplements.
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