Showing posts from December, 2010

Coffee, Tea, Fe? The truth about meal-time iron absorption

Does drinking coffee or tea with a meal reduce the amount of iron your body absorbs from the meal? That question is the subject of this post and a matter of concern for two groups of people: those with too much iron, like hemochromatosis sufferers, and those with not enough iron, like people with anemia. BTW, that headline is not a typo, it is a clever pun, or so I thought. Apologies if you already spotted the connections but it is based on a great line from the 1980s Melanie Griffith movie "Working Girl" in which Cynthia the secretary, played by the incomparable Joan Cusack, delivers the following line to Mr. Trainer, the handsome executive played by Harrison Ford: "Can I get ya anything, Mr. Trainer? Coffee? Tea? Me?" So I replaced Me with Fe, which is the symbol for iron in the periodic table of the elements. That is most of the pun (perhaps not such a funny one since I felt I had to explain it). The other part is that the great Cusack acting dynasty, including J