Using Iron & Vitamin C to Reduce Nickel Absorption

Steak Caesar salad with
homemade croutons.
Sometimes I crave foods that trigger my nickel food allergy. I call these nickel food allergy offenders. I have read dermatology studies arguing that when you eat foods rich in iron and vitamin C, your body absorbs less nickel.

Sometimes I crave foods that trigger my nickel food allergy. I call these nickel food allergy offenders.

This past week I ate two: chocolate and lettuce. I thoroughly enjoyed a dark chocolate heresy’s bar with milk and a delicious chicken caesar salad.

We have all read multiple studies that discuss the heart and brain benefits of dark chocolate. Similarly, romaine lettuce is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin C.

After eating both of these nickel food allergy offenders, the dark chocolate bothered my skin ten times as much as the romaine lettuce. I wondered why there would be such a difference in my eczema flare up with this two nickel allergy offenders?

I have read dermatology studies arguing that when you eat foods rich in iron and vitamin C, your body absorbs less nickel. For me, there was a direct correlation between the salad’s iron and vitamin C benefits, which positively resulted in a less severe eczema reaction.

Whenever I am hungry for leafy greens, I choose to eat a steak Caesar salad!

  1. I was patch tested and came up 1+ in nickel. I bought American Health Ezter C 500 mg with citrus bioflavonoids. I don’t know if I did the right thing. I’ve had rash all over from dermatitis allergic to not only nickel but fragrance came out on 2nd patch test March 28. I don’t know if I should have bought this. Will call American Health. I cheated and ate lot of chocolate this week.

    1. Hi Linda,
      I’m not sure what’ best for you, only you can determine that. Vitamin c can reduce the absorption of nickel. I usually take Benadryl before I go to bed when I eat a large amount of foods higher in nickel. Some days are harder than others.
      Warm regards,

  2. I have just been diagnosed with nickel allergy. I had the patch test done but my dermatologist is So worthless, she did not even send me to the allergist, I went on my own. I have so many unanswered questions about my allergy now and the internet makes matters worse with conflicting info…where do I turn for answers? My internist? My allergist? A dietician? A different dermatologist?

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for your comment. I never saw an allergist or internist. I also never had good luck with a dietician that knew about the low nickel diet.My skin patch test and dermatologist’s recommendation to try eating a lower nickel diet, ultimately resolve my eczema symptoms. Have you tried using a food journal? The reason there are so many different lists is it depends on where the food is grown, as nickel is in our air, water and soil. I write more about this in my latest post.
      Warm regards,

  3. Hi Christy,
    I have read that the vitamin C must be in your system ‘before’ you consume foods high in nickel; my understanding is that eating foods high in nickel & vitamin C won’t do the trick, one has to take a vitamin C supplement at least 30 minutes before eating.
    I’ve been reading your posts & information for the last couple months and wanted to thank you as it has been most helpful to me (especially Skintifique)!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Thanks for your comment and appreciation for my website. You’re probably right, that it would be best to consume the vitamin C or iron prior to ingesting foods higher in nickel in advance. I really don’t know the answer, but that makes sense to me. Thanks for the suggestion. Glad you used the Skintifique referral!
      Warm regards,

  4. Bonjour Christy
    depuis 3 ans j ai les lévres dermatite et de grandes fatigues et autres symptomes désagréables, apres de nombreux testes négatifs mon allergologue m a dit que j etait certainement allergique au Nickel… trois jours avec une cuisine sans nickel et déja un mieux, je suis végétalienne et j ai du mal a quitter certains alliments, combient de temps faut il pour l évacuation du Nickel ?? ou faut il aussi deminuer dans l alimentation et le touché d objet en Nickel ?? c est vraiment compliqué cette allergie ca va jusqu a de l asthme
    Un grand merci pour votre blog un des plus complet que j ai lu ; )

    1. Bonjour Ghislaine,  
      Merci pour ton commentaire et appréciation pour mon site. Je suis heureux que cela vous ait été utile et que vous puissiez le lire. Il est merveilleux que le changement de votre batterie de cuisine ait amélioré vos symptômes. 
      L’eczéma du visage est particulièrement embarrassant et douloureux. Il est très difficile pour les personnes souffrant d’allergies systémiques au nickel de suivre un régime végétalien, car de nombreux aliments végétaliens sont plus riches en nickel. Certains s’adaptent et d’autres choisissent de manger des produits laitiers ou de la viande à l’occasion. En règle générale, cela peut prendre de 4 à 6 semaines pour constater une réelle amélioration du régime pauvre en nickel. Parfois, cela peut prendre plus de temps. 
      Meilleurs voeux,

      Bonjour Ghislaine,  
      Thank you for your comment and appreciation for my website. I am glad it’s been useful to you and that you can read it. It’s wonderful that changing your cookware has improved your symptoms. Face eczema is especially embarrassing and painful. It’s very hard for people with systemic nickel allergies to eat a vegan diet as so many vegan foods are higher in nickel. Some adapt and others choose to eat dairy or meat occasionally. Typically it can take from 4-6 weeks to see real improvement on the low nickel diet. Sometimes it can take longer.
      Warm regards,

    1. Hi Giveypup,

      Leafy greens tend to contain more nickel. Some can tolerate iceberg lettuce over spinach. Canned goods also tend to be higher nickel, but fresh fish like tuna isn’t necessarily higher nickel. This post I discuss how vitamin c and iron both reduce your body’s absorption of nickel when eating higher nickel foods.

      Warm regards,

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