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Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload) (cont.)

Diet

People with hemochromatosis are encouraged to consume a balanced diet. However, there are certain important precautions that warrant mentioning.

  • A large alcohol intake (for example, 60gram of alcohol or four glasses of wine or beer daily) was shown to increase the risk of liver cirrhosis by nine fold in patients with hemochromatosis. Alcohol can also promote theabsorption of iron from the intestines, resulting in further iron overload. Occasional social drinking, however, may not add any further risk in patients with hemochromatosis.
  • Ingestion of large doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) may lead to increased iron uptake. Therefore, vitamin C supplementation is discouraged in patients with hemochromatosis. It is worth noting that there is no reason to discourage the usual consumption of fruits (citrus) and vegetables containing vitamin C in people with hemochromatosis.
  • Uncooked seafood may induce bacterial infections that thrive in the iron-rich environment, and their ingestion is not recommended in people who have hemochromatosis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2014

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