The calcium in yogurt and other dairy products can affect your body’s ability to absorb iron. This is a problem because iron is needed to make hemoglobin, a protein that allows your red blood cells carry oxygen. If you are trying to maximize your absorption of iron, you may need to avoid eating yogurt or eat calcium-rich foods while you take iron supplements or foods high in iron, such as meat and green leafy vegetables.
Iron is absorbed by cells in the small intestine. These cells use a special protein that transports iron from the digestive tract to intestinal cells. This process requires an acidic environment, so anything that reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach (such as antacids or reflux) can reduce iron absorption. Consume calcium with iron can inhibit iron absorption. Dried beans, soy products and tea have the same inhibitory effect on iron absorption.
Mechanism and prevention
Calcium inhibits the absorption of iron because the iron-carrying protein to intestinal cells also can transport other molecules, including calcium. This means that calcium can “compete” with the iron transport from the digestive tract to the body. However, the exact mechanism by which calcium inhibits the absorption of iron is not known. Even small amounts of iron (200 mg) can reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron. If you are worried about not getting enough iron in your diet, avoid eating yogurt and other calcium-rich foods along with iron-rich or near the time of taking an iron supplement food. Read more about oldschooldiet.com.