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Anaemia and Freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
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Pach

New Member
Mar 20, 2005
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Thread revival... kindof...

My sis is planning her final year uni project and a possible title is 'women and freediving'... as in do women on their menstrual period find a difference in performance while freediving? Whatcha think? It probably does anyway but would women freedivers mind answering a basic questionaire (if the project's approved)?

Where can I find out more info about freediving and blood volume. My sis can't always quote the internet.
 
Last edited:
harbour seal

harbour seal

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2006
225
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thread bump...rather than new thread for a question.


i have discovered that clams have a very high iron content. is this iron of the type easily absorbed by the body?

i am vegetarian but also worried about iron levels to the extent that clams seem like a reasonable option. anyone with any advice about incorporating clams into my diet (pro or con)?

cheers,
sean
vancouver - canada
 
maytag

maytag

SpinCycleSurvivor
Aug 20, 2006
457
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Hi All,

Returning to the issue of introducing more iron into the diet - without taking iron supplements - one can cook food in cast-iron pots/pans/whatever. That has been demonstrated to add significant amounts of iron into whatever food you're cooking. I wanted to double check I wasn't remembering an old wive's tale, and found the following link that summarizes average increase in FE content, presumably from studies...

http://www.dmt123.com/health-elite/2378.html


All the best,
Maytag
 
pkotik

pkotik

FreeDiving Editor
Nov 28, 2001
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I've been told many, many times by physicians that most folks in the developed world now get more than enough iron without making any special effort to. You'll notice that many brands of one-a-day multivitamins now come in " IRON FREE !" versions. Too much iron is no good.

Unless you're suffering from a very specific type of anemia, the doctors and physiologists have told me, you have nothing at all to gain ( in terms of performance enhancement) by adding iron to your diet.

I personally try to minimize my iron intake. I get blood work done quite frequently ( 3 month intervals, for roughly the past 8 years) and see no effect on Hg, red count, crit, etc. as a function of iron intake.

For what it's worth...,
 
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naiad

Apnea Carp
Supporter
Oct 11, 2003
2,897
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I was anaemic after being vegetarian for several years. When I stopped being vegetarian, it took a long time to go back to normal, but now I am OK. I don't know how good supplements are, for me the only thing that worked was a change of diet.

Lucia
 
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ADELENELYNCH

New Member
Aug 29, 2006
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I'm not entirely sure there is any correlation between anaemia and ability to breath-hold. I know a lot of anaemic people who can outlast average people in breatheholding. It does make sense though if you think about it : if you're anaemic, and your body carries less oxygen generally, your muscles and organs get use to functioning at lower oxygen levels, so it balances off.

A lot of atheletes, including long-distance marathon runners are anaemic and it's just that their bodies have gotten use to lower oxygen levels than most.

Does it make sense?
 
BennyB

BennyB

will freedive for beer
Sep 25, 2004
3,099
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To quote Homer Simpson - if the lord wanted us to be vegetarians, then why did he make animals out of meat? rofl

Actually I recall reading something about Umberto Pelizzari being anaemic during testing around some of his world record dives. The human body is a strange thing - what it lacks in some areas it makes up for in unknown ways.
 
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samdive

samdive

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Nov 12, 2002
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I am vegetarian and a bit anaemic and take Quest Iron Supplements which come with all the right stuff in them to make them easily absorbable... plus I take them with pineapple juice which is supposed to help.

I have found a considerable jump in my blood iron levels since taking them and really notice if if I miss them for a couple of days.

Easier than catching a load of clams every day - but not as much fun
 
pkotik

pkotik

FreeDiving Editor
Nov 28, 2001
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ADELENELYNCH said:
I'm not entirely sure there is any correlation between anaemia and ability to breath-hold. I know a lot of anaemic people who can outlast average people in breatheholding. It does make sense though if you think about it : if you're anaemic, and your body carries less oxygen generally, your muscles and organs get use to functioning at lower oxygen levels, so it balances off.

A lot of atheletes, including long-distance marathon runners are anaemic and it's just that their bodies have gotten use to lower oxygen levels than most.

Does it make sense?

I think it makes a lot of sense.

Having experienced an artificially-induced anemia, I can report that under
those conditions the effect on breath-hold is very, very drastic indeed.
However, somebody with chronic, long-term anemia has the opportunity to
adapt. One possible adaptation that occurs to me is increasing myoglobin
levels in muscle tissue. There may be other physiological opportunities in
the area of anerobic metabolic capabilities.

Good thinking.
 
harbour seal

harbour seal

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2006
225
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thanks for the input everyone.


Fred -- thanks for the link regarding cooking with cast iron.

Lucia -- thank-you so much for sharing your experiences -- i read the previous posts with interest regarding your battle with anemia. very glad to hear it is under control.

Paul -- thank-you for being the voice of reason from the other side of the fence. i am now wary of getting too much iron as well as too little.



here is some helpful info i found regarding getting iron from vegetarian sources.


What affects iron absorption?Iron absorption refers to the amount of dietary iron that the body obtains and uses from food. Healthy adults absorb about 10% to 15% of dietary iron, but individual absorption is influenced by several factors [1,3,8,11-15].

Storage levels of iron have the greatest influence on iron absorption. Iron absorption increases when body stores are low. When iron stores are high, absorption decreases to help protect against toxic effects of iron overload [1,3]. Iron absorption is also influenced by the type of dietary iron consumed. Absorption of heme iron from meat proteins is efficient. Absorption of heme iron ranges from 15% to 35%, and is not significantly affected by diet [15]. In contrast, 2% to 20% of nonheme iron in plant foods such as rice, maize, black beans, soybeans and wheat is absorbed [16]. Nonheme iron absorption is significantly influenced by various food components [1,3,11-15].

Meat proteins and vitamin C will improve the absorption of nonheme iron [1,17-18]. Tannins (found in tea), calcium, polyphenols, and phytates (found in legumes and whole grains) can decrease absorption of nonheme iron [1,19-24]. Some proteins found in soybeans also inhibit nonheme iron absorption [1,25]. It is most important to include foods that enhance nonheme iron absorption when daily iron intake is less than recommended, when iron losses are high (which may occur with heavy menstrual losses), when iron requirements are high (as in pregnancy), and when only vegetarian nonheme sources of iron are consumed.

....excerpt from: http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/iron.asp

note: from the above, don't take your calcium supplements at the same time as your iron.

Iron Absorption

Up to 22% of the iron in meat is absorbed, while only 1-8% is absorbed from eggs and plant foods. If the body stores fall, the rate of iron absorption rises. About 40% of the iron in animal foods is in a form called haem iron, while the remainder, and all the iron in plant foods, is in the less well absorbed non-haem form. Iron absorption can also be reduced by tannins (e.g. in tea) and phytates (found in nuts, grain and seeds). At this point one tends to wonder whether the rumours of vegans suffering from anaemia have substance, however, this isn't the whole story and the reader will be heartened to learn that research has shown that iron deficiency in vegans is no more common than in the rest of the population.
The absorption of iron from plant foods is improved by the presence in a meal of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), other organic acids such as malic acid (e.g. in pumpkins, plums and apples) and citric acid (in citrus fruits). Laboratory research in which experimental meals were given to 299 volunteers has shown that the inclusion of foods (such as fresh salad, orange juice or cauliflower) providing 70-105mg of vitamin C in each meal increased the absorption of iron. A particularly pronounced effect was seen when 4.5oz cauliflower containing 60mg of vitamin C was added to vegetarian meals, causing more than three-fold increase in iron absorption. [1]
Earlier studies have shown that, when iron intake from plant foods is relatively high (14-26mg/day), even large amounts of phytate do not adversely affect iron balance. [2]
There has been some concern that fibre in food can also inhibit the absorption of iron. However a study has shown that the iron balance was more favourable when fibre intake was 59g a day, than on a low-fibre regime of only 9g.


.....excerpt from:
http://www.vegansociety.com/html/food/nutrition/iron.php


...looks like i will be adding cauliflower to my diet.

cheers,

sean
vancouver, canada

ps. clams are also absurdely high in iron content (comparable to beef) thus i am considering occasionally adding them to my diet
 
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