Q&A: Children’s Vitamins and Anemia
One question I have is, are you or were you in the medical field? I couldn’t remember if you were a nurse or not. I remember a past conversation on iron and the proper supplements and I was wondering, do the Flintstone vitamins give the proper source of iron? I do understand the difference between the two, labels just don’t always spell out what is good for you and what is not. I know my son has a lot of me in him and I was anemic taking the true iron supplements (wasn’t fun), not the Flintstones vitamins. I hope Flintstones are a good source for him since he shows some signs of how I was as a child and being anemic. He does eat very well, with lots of raw veggies.
Thanks for your input!
***I am not in the medical field, I am a consulting body systems counselor, trained in herbs, flower essences, homeopathics and the like. I focus on restoring health rather than fighting disease symptoms.***Lots of my clients are nurses. I think they tend to be more open to alternatives in health care because they interact more closely with patients, so see more directly the consequences of conventional treatments. Our four-kid family has been virtually doctor-free for 30 years!
I don’t know the source of iron for Flintstones, but they, like virtually all commercial vitamins, are in a base of coal tar, which is a petroleum by-product. Commercial products, even prescription iron, are almost always ferrous sulfate, the form of iron found in skillets and nails, which is why it is so often unpleasant to take. We absorb ferrous gluconate much better and more easily. If he is eating lots of raw vegetables and fruits-in that order- he may already be getting what he needs. Dark, leafy greens and dark red foods (red cabbage, beets, dark raisins and cherries, etc.) are great sources of iron. Remember, you can sneak those into smoothies and they will not even notice the spinach or kale!
Sometimes anemia is not from a lack of iron but an inability to assimilate it; I would be giving him lots of (maple or fruit-sweetened only) live, whole milk yogurt to make sure his gut flora are producing enough B-12, which helps maintain proper hemoglobin levels. If you do still really feel a need to give him a vitamin, I would use the Herbasaurs children’s vitamin on my website, which is in a base of powdered herbs so provides the co-nutrients essential for assimilation of vitamins. Remember that nothing in nature exists in isolation, so taking any single vitamin or mineral can throw off others; that’s why I prefer to work with herbs. Alfalfa, for example, has the widest range of trace minerals available; I encourage my clients to eat lots of alfalfa sprouts rather than taking capsules because sprouting activates enzymes in the seed and produces lots of vitamin C, but I’d still prefer alfalfa capsules to mineral supplement tablets. I especially like the “Herbal Trace Minerals”, which combine alfalfa, kelp, and dandelion.
Liquid Chlorophyll (check for preservatives-I use Nature’s Sunshine) taken between meals with chelated iron and bioflavanoids is the best way to restore hemoglobin levels. When I was pregnant with my second child I developed pernicious anemia. By the time it was recognized my hemoglobin was around 7.5. 30 days on prescription iron, with the attendant nausea and constipation, brought it up to a little over 8. I switched to the chlorophyll formula and got it to 11.4 in two weeks. I lost over 2 pints of blood in the delivery (they did not realize the placenta had already detached and were holding her in the birth canal trying to loosen the cord from around her neck to prevent that). Even after that loss, my hemoglobin was over 12 at my 6 week checkup!