Does iron pills cause weight gain? – Weight Loss Meal Plans For Free
Some evidence suggests that iron supplementation may trigger the process of weight gain by helping the body to make more red meat. In fact, it has been hypothesized that the same mechanism could play a role in weight gain for individuals receiving red meat from plant-based sources (1). This may be one of the reasons why many studies have shown that consuming iron-fortified breakfast cereals has been linked to a lower body mass index (2, 3).
It is generally recognized that people with a higher body mass index are at greater risk for diabetes and cardiovascular complications. One of the reasons that the high prevalence of diabetes, and its complications, is associated with excess body fat has to do with iron status. When people use iron-fortified breakfast cereals, they are receiving significantly more of the amino acid hemoglobin as compared to the amounts needed to support adequate hemoglobin (and therefore the normal production of red blood cells). The results of a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (4), which looked at the effects of iron supplementation, led to the conclusion that the hemoglobin of the subjects was significantly reduced or completely lacking in some of the studies using the iron supplements. Although the study authors did not identify when or exactly when the iron supplements were administered, it should be noted that it was observed only from 1994 to 2004.
If there was a causative relationship between red meat consumption, a higher incidence of diabetes, and the need to supplement with iron to support the body’s production of red blood cells, it would make sense that it would impact on the hemoglobin level and thereby the blood sugar level. In fact, studies show that, even if a person does not have diabetes, consuming the recommended intake of 500 to 1,250 mg a day of heme iron would increase hemoglobin levels (2).
Is vitamin C a risk factor for obesity and/or weight gain?
Vitamin C is one of three minerals that act as antioxidants. These minerals help to reduce the formation of free radicals that are harmful to cells. Therefore, research showing that vitamin C supplements may have an effect in obesity is not new. Studies done in the 1980s and early 90s showed that people who were randomized to take vitamin C supplements experienced a significant loss of body fat and, also at the same time, gained weight (5). But it took until 2009, when results showed that both the weight gain and the loss in body fat was not related to vitamin C supplementation (6). As yet, there are no
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