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Anaemia and Freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
I found out recently that I am slightly anaemic - as are most women in fact. I have started taking iron supplements but don't like taking them as they give me stomach ache.

Presumably anaemia means I have less O2 being carried around my blood and therefore this could be affecting my breath hold time.

does anyone know anything about this?

what can I do? other than eat spinach and drink guinness...


I remember my grandmother talking about eating egs I mean the yolk,,, also you can mix yolk , orange juice and I litle of honey

or you can take multi-vitamin with iron and eat spinache

" I can do all things through Him who strengthens me "
phil 4:13
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i would find natural sources of iron and try to introduce more of those foods into your diet. i occassionaly take iron supplements also (never more than the RDA each day) but haven't had stomach problems. (i take them with meals.) could the problem be due to other ingredients within the supplement? one option is that you grind/break up a tablet, and take it in pieces throughout the day - one third with each meal etc. that should help.
I heard somewhere that inorder to absorve the Iron from some natural resources such as spinach it is better to consume citric acid with it.
Hope that helps.
Never take standard iron supplements, because they often cause stomach problems; ferrous sulfate is the worst of all these. Ferrous fumarate causes less stomach issues but still has poor absorption.

The best sources of iron are:
- Spirulina (30g/day; contains natural ferredoxin)
- Wild caribou (double the iron compared to any other red meat, 6.2mg of heme iron per 100g meat)
- Iron protein succinylate (I use 'IronSorb' brand from iherb.com)
- Carbonyl iron (found in supernutrition products)

Watch for iron overload. Signs of iron overload are simple; you tend to cough soon after you take your iron supplements. Iron feeds bacteria, and too much will stress your immune system for that same reason, but this is only a problem in iron overload.

Spinach contains oxalic acid which blocks the absorption of the iron it contains. Of vegetables sources of iron, spirulina is really the only good choice.

Meat contains heme-iron, which is the most absorbable of all forms. Taking heme-iron with non-heme iron improves the absorption of both. So, taking a bit of caribou, with some spirulina and IronSorb, will optimize absorption.

The old idea of taking iron supplements with orange juice or lemon juice (i.e. citric acid), was based on the insolubility of ferrous sulfate. Ferrous sulfate is only soluble in acid. So, it dissolves in the stomach, causing stomach cramps, and then once it gets into the intestines (which are alkaline), it precipitates out into a solid form, preventing its absorption.

Iron protein succinylate is the opposite. It is insoluble in acid, and soluble in alkaline environments, so it passes through the stomach without causing discomfort, and then dissolves in the intestines.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Originally posted by efattah
Of vegetables sources of iron, spirulina is really the only good choice.
What about almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat bran, rolled oats, parsley, dried apricots, etc?

Sam - You could also try getting more vitamin C (which increases absorption of non-heme iron) and less tannins (found in tea and red wine, which inhibit non-heme iron absorption).
Thanks guys... I am starting to see why I might be anaemic..

I am vegetarian and allergic to both eggs and citrus fruit.... so most of the options above are out..

however my veggie feelings are mainly to do with farmed meat so next time I spot a wild caribou I will take it out and have it for dinner!

spinach and spirulina are on the shopping list..

Originally posted by samdive
I am vegetarian and allergic to both eggs and citrus fruit....
Hmmm, that complicates things a bit...

You could try other sources of C, such as kiwifruit, mango, melon, tomato, watermelon...
Would you eat mussels? I've heard they have lots of iron. Pomgranate juice also has iron but I don't know if it qualifies as a citrus or if you might be allergic to it.

mussels? yes - guess I could even pick my own.... other juices ... yes within reason... need to be careful...

nuts seem to be the best thing so far - brazil nuts and almonds - how are they for iron?

thanks for the help guys
I was a vegetarian for years and the bottom line is no veggie source of iron really cuts it. They are all extremely hard to absorb. Potato skins apparently have lots of iron, but you won't be absorbing any of it. Current studies say that absorption of veggie sources of iron are about 1%. So, if you look online and it says 10 potatos have 1mg of iron (or something like that), then you will absorb 0.01 x 1mg = 0.01mg. Women need something like 2-4mg of actual absorbed iron per day; much more if you are training and trying to build blood & myoglobin. Heme-iron is about 10% absorbed.

Spirulina is the exception among veggie sources of iron. So, as I mentioned before, spirulina and IronSorb (iron protein succinylate), are my recommendations.

Using these two, you can load your body with iron so fast you will be in overload in a month or two.

I stopped vegetarianism when I found a local distributor of wild organic meats. Very expensive though.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

I avoid iron. I take only multivitamins with no iron in them. I am maybe 80% veg in my meals, but satisfy the occasional craving for red meat with the best New York cut strip sirloins money can buy, this maybe 5-6 times a year.

I think Eric's point about iron overload is one to be taken quite seriously. It is a very bad thing.

My red counts and hemoglobin are generally well within normal.

I maintain a basic physical fitness regimen. I do not train.

This all adds up to apnea capabilities which, at 52 years old, are good enough for me, and good enough for most purposes outside of high-end competition.

Pretty soon I am going to become anemic. I'll still be avoiding iron. It will be interesting to see what happens to my apnea capability, and I'll be sure to report back in if anything of note comes up.

Paul Kotik
Florida, USA
Originally posted by efattah
I was a vegetarian for years
I stopped vegetarianism when I found a local distributor of wild organic meats.
I recall you saying you were on a raw foods only diet once... Was this part of the vegetarianism, or do you still try to avoid cooked foods?

The funny thing is that yogi's (atleast some) are considered to be the ultimate breathhold masters, yet they are all vegetarian......

So maybe they are anaemic and still capable of realizing incredible long kumbhaka's (not breathing).

Fred S.
Iron shortage

According to Hira Ratan Manek http://www.solarhealing.com/ one can learn to live solely on solar energy and water. He states that al the "essential" minirals are as wel redundant.
The learning takes about a year, and after it you can still eat anything you want, but you don't need to. I sound pretty out of this world, and against al the things we've learned in the past.
But we'are weekly doing things others portray as 'impossible', 'humans are not ment to do that' and 'out of this world'. So give it a read, intresting stuff.

On www.sungazing.com one can read of a person who tried it and has made a monthly journal allong with many more intresting stuff.

Well, not to disregard anything metaphysical, but as far as I'm concered I rather stick with the ol' metabolism way of living, and consider myself as a catabolic entity. although E=mc^2, I don't think that I have solar ability within me yet.

I live in the "holy land", there are enough beliefs and missbelifs here that will tell you how to live and suply proofs for it in abandunce.
If I had to try them all I would'nt have any time for freediving. :)

PS: It would'nt have solved the iron shortage anyway, Sam lives in the "sunny" UK.

PPS: Though, IF it works, no more hanger in africa, asia, central america, middle-east etc... (europe and US have too much food anyhow),
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Reactions: Fred S.
Well I've done some more sungazing today, very nice sunset here in the Netherlands, and we definitely don't have 365 days of sunshine a year either.

I'm still a bit sceptical too, but as I practice I discover al the benefits gradually. I'ts a bit like yoga, the first thing is to open yourself up for al these new sences, emotions, energies. You'll learn allong the way. My goal is not to stop eating, but al the other benifits one experience. It's a road of exploration.

Things I'ved experienced are:
Instand turning of my mood, from depressed to joyfull.
Clearing my mind, loosing the abundand weight.
Gaining selflove, After a few weeks I had it for the first time I really liked myself in my life, indeed a new insight!
Much more energy though eating not as much as I used to. I can still eat 2 meals easilly, but I'm not hungry after 1/2 a plate. Though I used to eat a lot my figure is still very slim, 69KG/1.89M
Feeling more clean throughout the body.

Today's sungazing was again very nice, I think I'm on the right track, as the energy can reach now down to my waist. The first feelings I had were in the back of my head, a few weeks ago it went to the whole of my head, and today it radiated downwards. Very nice feeling.

This isn't a beliefe, but something practical. So If one can stay to one's faith.
I recon it sure is a long way to add some extra iron in one's blood :D
The ultimate goal of Hira Ratan Manek is to promote world peace. End of all the hunger and most illness would be cool, provided that people learn to limit their numbers in a more friendly way than war. Canceling hunger would decrease depency greatly.

Ok, I must stop before I fall into repetition :)


Re: Yogi's

Originally posted by Fred S.
The funny thing is that yogi's (atleast some) are considered to be the ultimate breathhold masters, yet they are all vegetarian......

So maybe they are anaemic and still capable of realizing incredible long kumbhaka's (not breathing).

Fred S.

Actually, not all yogis are vegetarians. In many places in Tibet, there are almost no vegetables. In those places, the tibetan yogis have meat as a primary component of their diet, and some of them are VERY advanced. Swami Rama (an East Indian Yogi), in his book 'Living with the Himalayan Masters,' talks about travelling through Tibet, where he met many high level Tibetan yogis, even more advanced than he was -- even though he himself could not manage to 'force himself' to eat the meat they were eating.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Hi Sam-

Being a strict carnivore :p I haven't had a problem with getting too little iron, but many of my friends have. As women, we do have to be extra vigilant. A friend of mine turned to raisins (apparently they have a good lot of iron - as much as beef in a single serving?). You might want to verify that, but thought it might be helpful for you given your dietary restrictions.

Good luck!

By the way: I support your idea of getting your own meat - I don't like to buy it from the store either. Personally, I do hunt for mine...
The ultimate goal of Hira Ratan Manek is to promote world peace.
It's also the ultimate goal of most miss universe nominees. :D

Anyway, it's nice that you've posted about it. I'm actually curious, tell me how this thing is going for you.

The results of losing weight, having a cleared mind and feeling more energetic sounds to me like the normal benefits of eating less. :D
Spending less total time on digestion gives those results.
If you ask me, most humans are eating more than nature intended (=designed them to), and their systems are either overloaded, or just fundumently changed inorder to deal with this encumberment.

I still don't get how you're supposed to gaze at the sun and not ruin your eyes.

By the way, some insignificant detail that might amuse you:
Sting got his idea for the song "Lithium sunsets" because someone told him that sunsets have the same color as the Lithium element has, and he made the connection (in a romantic manner, not a rationalized one) that since Lithium is used to treat depression (among other mental disorders), maybe that's why pepole like to watch sunsets so much, they absorve the effect through their eyes.

Anyway, I'll stick with the ol' boring "letting my eyes die becuase of my age then killing them so soon" routine. :)
But I'll be glad to hear updates and breakthroughs...

PS: Maybe you should try doing statics while sungazing, if turning energy to matter, turning some of it into O2 is in the same catagory. :)
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