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What is recommended in a diet for people with hemochromatosis?

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Quick Answer

Choosing foods that are not high in iron is one of the main considerations in a diet that is best suited for people with hemochromatosis, as advised by Dr. Eric Lewis in an article published on Hemochromatosis Help. Raw seafood and alcohol should be avoided and packaged foods, such as breakfast cereals, should be checked to determine if they have been iron fortified. Also known as iron overload, hemochromatosis is a condition that results in the body absorbing too much iron during digestion, which can cause potentially serious build-ups of iron in the liver.

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Full Answer

Foods containing vitamin C and beta carotene increase the absorption rate of iron. Although both nutrients are an important part of a healthy diet, people with hemochromatosis should not combine foods or supplements containing vitamin C or beta carotene with foods that are rich in iron. Studies involving vitamin C showed that it can increase iron absorption during a meal by more than 4 times, as reported by the Iron Disorders Institute.

In contrast to vitamin C, eggs contain an iron-binding protein that inhibits the absorption of iron. A single boiled egg included in a meal can decrease iron absorption by more than 25 percent, as noted by the Iron Disorders Institute.

Hemochromatosis can either be inherited and appear at birth, or it can result from a blood-related disorder. It can also develop from having too many blood transfusions. The condition affects men more often then it does women, and it is not uncommon in people of Western European descent.

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