The Downside of Supplementing With Iron and Vitamin D


Let's talk about supplementing with both iron and vitamin D. These two are very often supplemented with (especially with digestive issues and endometriosis). But, is there a downside? My goal is to shed some light on why testing and supplementing with these two is not always the best route.


Copper and Iron: The Dynamic Duo

When we're talking iron, we have to talk copper. Think of copper and iron as dance partners grooving to the beat of your body’s needs. Iron gets all the spotlight for its role in keeping your energy levels up and your blood pumping with oxygen. But copper is also working behind the scenes to keep your immune system in check and your tissues nice and strong.

The thing is, these two minerals are like besties – they influence each other’s moves. Copper helps regulate how much iron you absorb and where it goes, while iron plays a part in how your body handles copper. It’s a delicate balance that keeps your health in harmony. 


Why Iron Supplements Aren't Always the Answer

Now, when it comes to iron deficiency, our first instinct might be to reach for those trusty iron supplements. But hold up – before you down that bottle, consider this: blindly boosting your iron levels without checking in on copper could throw off that balance.

You see, too much iron without enough copper can leave you with a copper shortage, and that’s no good. It can mess with your immune system, throw your brain for a loop, and even crank up the stress on your cells. So, instead of going straight for the iron pills, let’s take a step back and figure out why your iron might be low in the first place (common causes are absorption issues, infections, or pathogens).


The Lowdown on Vitamin D

Now let's talk D, the sunshine vitamin. This little powerhouse doesn’t just help with bone health – it also plays a sneaky role in how your body handles copper and iron. But here’s the kicker: not all vitamin D is created equal, nor is that annual lab test you get.

 See, most practitioners are only testing one form of D (25OH). That doesn't necessarily mean that D itself is low then. Like iron, we have cofactors. For D3, a low 25OH may simply mean you have inflammation, need more magnesium or vitamin A, or have a need for glutathione.

Before you go loading up on those D supplements, it’s worth getting the full scoop on your vitamin D levels and testing both 25OH (inactive form) and 1,25 hydroxy. And if you are going to supplement beyond something like cod liver oil, make sure it's the D3 form, is paired with K2, AND you're monitoring magnesium levels as well.


Wrapping It Up: A Balanced Approach to Better Health

So, what’s the takeaway from all this? Well, when it comes to your health, balance is key. Instead of rushing to fix one problem with a quick supplement fix, let’s take a more holistic approach. That means looking at the big picture, figuring out what’s really causing those deficiencies, and giving your body the support it needs to thrive.


And hey, before you start loading up on any supplements, it’s always a good idea to chat with a pro. A qualified practitioner/coach can help you navigate the ins and outs of functional medicine and tailor a plan that’s just right for you. If you'd like to chat a bit about how I work with clients all over the US and Canada, click HERE to book a complimentary call.

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