RE: Ferritin levels
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 9:28 AM
That's true. Typical vegans consume more iron than meat eaters, but it's the kind of iron that does not store as readily (non-heme). Non-heme iron (commonly found in plants) stores on an as needed basis, whereas heme iron (from blood) stores regardless of whether you need it or not. Non-heme iron is easy to manipulate too. Meaning, you can enhance or discourage its absorbability based on other things you consume. For example, pairing sources of vitamin C, like orange slices or lemon juice, with spinach will help you absorb more iron from the spinach.
Lower iron is associated with reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It's a preferable place to be. More than you ever wanted to know here: http://pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/nutrition/iron-the-double-edged-sword.
I would say not to worry about it unless you are feeling tired or unless a physician diagnoses you with anemia.
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education