Everything you need to know about the diet for Hemochromatosis


Hemochromatosis is a situation in which the body absorb too much iron from meal. People with Hemochromatosis can lower the severity of their symptoms and the risk of consequences by changing their diet in particular ways.

Hemochromatosis is separated into two type: primary and secondary. Primary hemochromatosis is caused by a genetic mutation, whereas secondary hemochromatosis is caused by medical factors such liver disease and anaemia.
Iron is absorbed and lost at a rate of roughly 1 milligramme (mg) per day by most persons. Hemochromatosis patients might absorb up to 4 milligrammes of iron each day.
An overabundance of iron in the organs can be harmful and cause harm. Dietary adjustments, on the other hand, can help to maintain appropriate iron levels.

It’s not simply about how much iron you take in.

In general, foods low in iron are the healthiest diet for hemochromatosis. However, a number of factors can influence how much iron is absorbed from the meals you eat. Here are some dietary elements that may alter how iron is absorbed by your body:

Nonheme vs. heme iron

food iron come in two form: heme and nonheme. Meat and seafood contain heme iron. Plants, animals, fish, and fortified foods all contain nonheme. Heme iron is more bioavailable than nonheme iron, which means it’s easier for your body to absorb.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.Vitamin C, often known as ascorbic acid, improves nonheme iron absorption. In addition, meat and seafood can help with nonheme iron absorption.

Calcium.Calcium in various forms may reduce the bioavailability of both heme and nonheme iron.

Polyphenols and phytate.Phytate, often known as phytic acid, is a substance present in grains and legumes that inhibits iron absorption. Polyphenols, which are found in plant foods, can also reduce iron absorption.

As you can see, the optimum diet for hemochromatosis includes more than just avoiding iron-rich foods. Other factors, such as the other nutrients in your food, can have an impact on your iron absorption.

If you have hemochromatosis, what foods should you avoid?

Vegetables and fruits

Hemochromatosis is caused by too much iron, which leads to oxidative stress and free radical activity, both of which can disrupt your DNA.

Antioxidants are necessary for preventing the damaging effects of oxidative stress on your body. Fruits and vegetables include a variety of antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and flavonoids.

Many hemochromatosis advice will advise you to avoid iron-rich veggies. It’s feasible that this isn’t forever required.

Nonheme iron is found only in high-iron vegetables like spinach and other leafy greens. Vegetables are a good source of nonheme iron since it is less easily absorbed than heme iron. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor or a dietician.

Legumes and grains

Phytic acid, which is establish in grain and legumes, is an inhibitor of iron inclusion.

Many people may be at risk of mineral deficiencies due to a high-grain diet, such as calcium, iron, or zinc.
For patients with hemochromatosis, however, phytic acid can help prevent the body from absorbing too much iron from diet.


Are eggs OK to consume on a hemochromatosis diet because they include nonheme iron? The answer is yes, thanks to phosvitin, a phosphoprotein found in egg yolks.

According to studies, phosvitin can prevent the absorption of iron and other minerals. Researchers discovered that rats fed a yolk protein had reduced iron absorption than rats fed soy or casein protein in one animal investigation.

Coffee and tea

Tannins, generally known as tannic acid, are polyphenolic compounds establish in equally tea and coffee. Tea and coffee tannins prevent iron absorption. If you have hemochromatosis, these two trendy beverages are a perfect match to your diet.

Protein that is low in fat

Protein is an vital section of a objective diet. Iron can be found in a variety of protein-rich foods. This does not, however, imply that you must eliminate meat from your diet entirely.

Instead, organise your meal about low-iron protein source like turkey, chicken, tuna, and yet deli lamb.

When you have hemochromatosis, there are certain foods you should avoid.

Red meat in excess

If consumed in moderation, red meat can be a nutritious part of a well-balanced diet. Hemochromatosis sufferers are in the same boat.
Heme iron is found in red meat, which means that the iron is more easily absorbed by the body. If you must consume red meat, limit yourself to two to three portions each week. You can eat it with meals that inhibit iron absorption.

Seafood that is raw

Although seafood does not have a high level of iron, there is something in raw shellfish that should be avoided.

Vibrio vulnificus is a species of bacteria that lives in coastal waters and can infect shellfish. Iron may play a key role in the propagation of V. vulnificus, according to previous study.

Raw shellfish should be avoided by persons with high iron levels, such as those with hemochromatosis.

Vitamin A and C-rich foods

One of the most efficient boosters of iron absorption is vitamin C, often known as ascorbic acid. Despite the fact that vitamin C is an important part of a balanced diet, you should be mindful of vitamin C-rich foods and consume them in moderation.

In addition, vitamin A has been demonstrated in human trials to improve iron absorption.

Vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron are all found in abundance in leafy green vegetables. However, the benefits appear to exceed the hazards because nonheme iron found in plants isn’t as easily absorbed.

Foods with added nutrients

Nutrients have been added to fortified foods. Vitamins and minerals such as calcium, zinc, and iron are abundant in fortified foods.

If you have hemochromatosis, eating iron-fortified foods may help you get more iron in your blood. Before you eat these items, look at the nutrition labels to see how much iron is in them.

Excessive alcohol consumption

Alcohol abuse, particularly chronic alcohol abuse, can harm the liver. Alcohol should be drunk in moderation if you have hemochromatosis since iron overload can induce or aggravate liver damage.
If you have hemochromatosis and have a liver issue, you should not drink alcohol at all because it will worsen your condition.

Is there a link between diet and this condition?

Diet can influence iron absorption, but it’s uncertain whether it has much of an impact on hemochromatosis. In persons with hemochromatosis, dietary adjustments may not be necessary.

Dietary adjustments, according to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, have a minor impact on iron levels when compared to typical hemochromatosis therapy. Although dietary adjustments may help reduce iron levels in tiny amounts, medicines or phlebotomy are far more effective.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) still advise patients with hemochromatosis to avoid the following foods:

• Supplements containing iron
• Supplements containing vitamin C
• shellfish in their natural state
• excessive alcohol consumption

Other alternatives for treatment

Hemochromatosis is frequently treated with:


Doctors remove extra iron from the body by removing a small amount of blood at a time. They will arrange blood tests to assess iron levels on a regular basis.

Chelation therapy

Chelation therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use
Chelation treatment is a method of removing iron from the body that involves the use of pills or injections. These therapies are required for those who are unable to have their blood drawn owing to anaemia or heart difficulties.


Hemochromatosis is a condition in which people absorb too much iron from their food.

Hemochromatosis is treated by removing excess iron from the blood using phlebotomy or chelation therapy. Vitamin C pills, raw seafood, and excessive alcohol use should all be avoided.

Eating low-iron diets or reducing iron absorption may also assist keep iron levels within acceptable ranges. Dietary iron restriction, on the other hand, is not as effective as other hemochromatosis treatments.

Chelation therapies are less successful at removing iron than phlebotomy.

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