Q: "I would like some advice from your experts on a diet for those who suffer haemochromatosis. What is it and how do you manage the condition?"
Xanthe Emery, Turner, ACT
A: Registered nutritionist Amanda Johnson responds:
“Haemochromatosis is a metabolic disorder that causes increased absorption of iron. If untreated, an excess of iron is deposited in the liver, pancreas and heart, and over a number of years this can cause damage. Iron can also be deposited in the joints. A low-iron or iron-free diet is not usually recommended since foods that provide iron also provide other important nutrients. You should follow a healthy, balanced diet, but some dietary precautions are advisable. Highly iron-fortified foods should be avoided, and you may wish to consume iron-rich foods such as red meat and offal in moderation. Vitamin C can promote iron absorption too, so it’s best to steer clear of supplements that provide large doses of vitamin C. For those with liver abnormalities as a result of iron overloading, it may be advised that alcohol intake is restricted, but for more specific individual advice consult your doctor or dietitian.”