Today’s blog post is intended to separate fact from fiction, when it comes to the Lucky Iron Fish. We wanted to address common misconceptions about the Fish, and answer some questions you may have.
Below you will find five statements we often see when others discuss the Lucky Iron Fish
1. Everybody should use the Lucky Iron Fish.
FALSE. As with any dietary change, it is critical to first consult with your doctor.
People with certain disorders, like Hemochromatosis, should not use the Lucky Iron Fish. A major characteristic of this condition is the body’s inability to process iron, which can eventually lead to serious health complications such as organ damage.
There are groups who, in particular, should consider the Lucky Iron Fish. They include:
Those following a plant-based diet
Vegans and vegetarians with varied, nutrient-dense diets can consume adequate amounts of iron; however, studies have uncovered issues with the bioavailability of plant-based iron (i.e. your body’s ability to absorb the iron you consume). In fact, vegetarians need almost twice the amount of iron that non-vegetarians do, due to the difficulty of plant-based iron absorption. Research has also shown that vegan diets commonly contain micronutrients that inhibit iron absorption.
The intensity of endurance training places greater iron demands on athletes’ bodies. According to one study examining the relationship between iron status and exercise, there are three groups in particular who should be mindful of their levels: female athletes, distance runners, and vegetarian athletes.
Women who experience heavy menstrual flow
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency globally, and affects more women than men. Heavy menstrual bleeding – known medically as “Menorrhagia” – may “decrease iron levels enough to increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia.”
Pregnant women require much more iron than women who are not pregnant, due to increased blood volume in the body and the need to provide nutrients to the baby. Research has found that pregnancy has a clear effect on some iron status measures. As one study states: “Pregnancy was associated with lower levels of hemoglobin and ferritin, indicating that iron availability to red blood cells and iron storage is compromised during pregnancy.” Iron supplementation is incredibly beneficial for moms-to-be. It’s recommended that women consume 27 mg a day during pregnancy.
2. It is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use the Lucky Iron Fish.
TRUE. The Lucky Iron Fish releases low levels of iron and is safe to use for most individuals, including pregnant and nursing women – pending approval by their health care professionals.
The Fish is made of natural, bioavailable iron. Research confirms that, when used as directed, the Lucky Iron Fish delivers iron without the risk of iron overload. The only way overload would occur is by intentional misuse (e.g., boiling multiple Fish in a single litre of water for more than ten minutes). Further, a series of experiments revealed that the Fish does not emit contaminants hazardous to humans. And we continually ensure this by batch checking all Lucky Iron Fish we produce, and by partnering with outside laboratories to conduct random spot checks.
3. It is easy to prepare food and beverages with the Lucky Iron Fish.
TRUE. The most common way people use the Lucky Iron Fish is by making Lucky Iron Fish Water. Many opt to chill the water, add it to a water bottle with a squeeze of fresh citrus juice, and sip it throughout the day. This is an incredibly simple way to use the Lucky Iron Fish and it’s only the beginning!
You can easily use the Lucky Iron Fish to cook pantry staples like pasta and whole grains, and create endlessly versatile and delicious meals. Our Savoury Oatmeal and Farro Salad (the perfect summer side dish!) are among our favourites and just two examples. The Fish is also an easy addition to soups, chilies, sauces, and curries.
4. Using the Lucky Iron Fish is the exact same as taking conventional iron supplements (tablets/capsules).
TRUE & FALSE. The Lucky Iron Fish and traditional iron supplements are the same in that they both bolster iron stores; however, a common complaint associated with iron tablet use is gastrointestinal discomfort or distress. All bodies are unique and will respond to supplementation differently, but the Lucky Iron Fish may be a sound alternative for those who experience these side effects from conventional iron supplements.
5. Iron deficiency isn’t a challenge faced by Western populations.
FALSE. Iron deficiency doesn’t discriminate - it impacts Western populations as well. The below statistics from the World Health Organization help paint a more holistic picture:
9.5% of women of reproductive age in Canada suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
Indigenous communities in Canada have iron deficiency anemia rates that exceed 60%.
Experts say that the iron deficiency anemia rates in Canada are underdiagnosed.
8.5% of children under the age of 5 in the United States of America suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
13.2% of non-pregnant women in the United States of America suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
13.3% of women of reproductive age in the United States of America suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
To learn more about the Lucky Iron Fish, visit our FAQ page. If you have a question about the Lucky Iron Fish that has not been answered here or within the FAQs, reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.