I always wonder if rather than getting minerals from food, can I directly eat them and will they have same effect as in food, e.g. can I eat iron filings for iron, magnesium and drink hard water for calcium?

Is there any difference between having minerals through food or directly eating metals?

  • $\begingroup$ Please avoid using texting language for Qs & As on the main site, I have edited to fix grammar. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


To absorb essential elements, body must get them in form of stable ions. So for calcium and magnesium, our body absorbs them from the hard water in the same way it obtains from other sources and uses them identically. For iron, we cannot obtain iron from iron fillings because iron reacts with water and other chemicals in our body which can produce harmful effects. For further information on absorbtion of calcium from hard water visit http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/calcium-hard-water


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